Poetic Healing
317 Pages
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Poetic Healing


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317 Pages


Recounts the poetic healing of a Vietnam veteran with poetry and plays. Describes the five phases of healing through commentary and explores intrapersonal and interpersonal conflict, dialectic, and metaphysics, as well as suicide and anti-relational and relational communication.



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Published 28 November 2004
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EAN13 9781932559552
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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POÉïÇ HÉĀïGis about a Vietnam Veteran’s pain and the healing power of words. Basil B. Clark ’s sense of order was disrupted after an ambush in Vietnam that resulted in the constant ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. Clark had to accept such pain as the norm to help himself recover meaning and regain a sense of order. His plays and poems function as equipment for living and include dynamic conversations among imaginary family members, friends, and divine agents.
Clark’s plays and poems are analyzed by Mark E. Huglen, who offers insight into the five phases of poetic healing through critical commentary. He draws upon the teachings of renowned scholar Kenneth Burke, particularly his terms for order, orientation, realms for words, and perspective by incongruity, bringing Burke closer to intrapersonal and interpersonal communication as well as to the study of suicide. Bernard Brock’s Afterword describes how Clark manages to heal not justwithhis words and symbolism, butthroughthem.
POÉïÇ HÉĀïGtells the story of the word’s power to transform pain, loss, and even desperation into their counterparts, a poetic jour-ney that will uplift and inspire.
MARK E. HUGLeNis a co-author ofArgument Strategies from Aristotle’s Rhetoric(with Norman Clark). He teaches courses in communication at The University of Minnesota, Crookston.
BASIL B. CLARKwas awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action, and two Bronze Stars, one for heroism in ground combat, while in Vietnam. He now teaches public speaking, oral interpretation, theater, and inter-personal communication at Pikeville College in Kentucky.
Parlor Press 816 Robinson Street West Lafayette, IN 47906 w w w.pa rlor press.com S A N: 2 5 4 - 8 8 7 9 ISBN 1-932559-55-8
ClarkPOETIC Huglen and Poetic Healing HEALING
§ PĀO PÉŚŚ
Poetic Healing
—EÉ VïÉĀ—
—ĀÉïV ÉĀÉL—
—LÉĀÉ VïÉĀ—
Poetic Healing
A Vietnam Veteran’s Journey from a Communication Perspective
Revised and Expanded Edition
Mark E. Huglen (Critical Commentary) Basil B. Clark (Poems and Plays) Afterword by Bernard L. Brock
Parlor Press West Lafayette, Indiana www.parlorpress.com
Parlor Press LLC, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
© 2005 by Parlor Press All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America First Edition published in 2002 by Unlimited Publishing, LLC
S A N: 2 5 4 - 8 8 7 9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Huglen, Mark E., 1962- Poetic healing : a Vietnam veteran’s journey from a communication perspective / Mark E. Huglen (critical commentary) ; Basil B. Clark (poems and plays) ; afterword by Bernard L. Brock.-- Rev. ed.  p. cm.  Includes bibliographical references.  ISBN 1-932559-54-X (hardcover : alk. paper) -- ISBN 1-932559-53-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) -- ISBN 1-932559-55-8 (adobe ebook) 1. Clark, Basil B.--Criticism and interpretation. 2. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Literature and the conflict. 3. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Veterans--Mental health. 4. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Poetry. 5. Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Drama. 6. Biblio-therapy. I. Clark, Basil B. II. Title.
 PS3603.L356Z69 2005  818’.609--dc22  2004025283
Cloth and paperback editions printed on acid-free paper. Cover photograph:© 2003 by Camilo Jimenez. Used by permission.
Parlor Press, LLC is an independent publisher of scholarly and trade titles in print and multimedia formats. This book is also available in paperback and cloth formats from Parlor Press on the WWW at http://www.parlorpress.com. For submission information or to find out about Parlor Press publications, write to Parlor Press, 816 Robinson St., West Lafayette, Indiana, 47906, or e-mail editor@parlorpress.com.
In Memory of
“Doc” Hurley Jose Brian Morrow Lt. Conner Larry Parr Gary Johnson Bob Hawkins Rodney Evans Tommy Fowler Capt. Reaume Sam Wadell
Dedicated to
Rocky and Derricka; a second son and a second grandchild, from a second son. I have shared in your shadows.
Oh yes, and peeking around the corner, you too, Jeremy.
—Basil Clark The Vietnam Veteran
Contents Acknowledgmentsix Introductionxi 1  The Enrollment and Recognition of Pain3 Turn It Off, Please9 A Series of Poems on Tinnitus16 A Dialogue: “Tinnitus” Part I and Part II26 Commentary: The Problem of Pain36 2  Reflections of War in a Postwar Terrain44 Poetic Recollections of War52 Remembrances Associated with Genre of War60 Starkle, Starkle, Little Twink71 To Choose or Not To Choose, That Is the Consequence109 Commentary: The Root Metaphor, and Reflections113 3  Engaging Postwar Zones of Combat121 The Question of God and Patriotism129 Obstacle Battlers Anonymous145 Sanity, of Questioning149 Internal and External Battles153 Commentary: Metaphysics and Other Dynamics176 4  Burning the Postwar Terrain185 The Complicated Self193 The Relationships198 In and Near the Grave202 Commentary: The Dreadful Shadowlands208
viii 5  Beyond the Postwar Mindset215 Water223 Seeds for Growth229 Growing and Reaching232 Commentary: Living in the Garden272 6 Conclusion279
Afterword: Transformation to a Symbolic Reality287 Bernard L. Brock Authors and Contributor293 Works Cited295
We acknowledge and respect the obligation placed upon humans throughout the world who have been called upon to serve their coun-try or locality in war. Such people have to make significant judgments about wars—really about life and death. These kinds of judgments are not easy to make. We hope to see the day that marks the end of all wars—both the more obvious physical killings that occur during material wars and the less obvious “symbolic killings” that occur during word wars in contexts of communication in human relationships.
Alternate realities Some things rearranged What is normal for you For me has been changed. —Basil Clark We had heard about southern hospitality and were about to experi-ence it firsthand because Professor Clark had invited us to stay at his home our first night in the area. He taught speech and theater at the college and lived near the top of an Appalachian mountain. It would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to drive our truck pulling our car on a trailer up the mountain with my limited truck-driving experience. So we parked our big “rig” at the college, unloaded our car from the trailer, checked the directions provided by Professor Clark, and headed up his mountain. We moved in the fall of1995. I had just completed graduate work at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and landed a teaching position in communication at Pikeville College, a small private insti-tution in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. After waving goodbye to friends in Detroit out the window of our rented moving truck, my wife, our son, our dog and I, all sitting in the front seat, headed south. It was about a12hour drive straight through in the truck, going down through Lexington, and then heading south-east through the Mountain Parkway, eventually jigging down again to Pikeville. The scenery was beautiful in eastern Kentucky. It was Brushy Creek where we were going and into a “hollow” (pronounced “hollar”) called “Ray Branch.” Emma Ray, Basil’s wife, grew up in this area and taught at the local elementary school. While the original house is gone, the