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IPFS News Link • Art

Feeling Stressed? Read a Poem

• arclein

In 2016, Bate, now the foundation professor of environmental humanities at Arizona State University, published an anthology with Byrne called Stressed, Unstressed: Classic Poems to Ease the Mind.1 The scholars knew that people in the English-speaking world had long turned to poetry to raise their spirits. The philosopher J.S. Mill found solace from depression in reading William Wordsworth. Mill called Wordsworth's poetry "medicine for my state of mind." The poems expressed "states of feeling … under the excitement of beauty" that gave Mill "a source of inward joy, of sympathetic and imaginative pleasure, which could be shared in by all human beings."