When the Day Closes Itself: A Collection of Poems and an Essay

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This paper is a creative work that explores the relationship between psychological healing and the writing of poetry. Primarily creative, the paper presents poetry written in a variety of contemporary styles, from French surrealism, to contemporary American poetry, in particular an imitation and homage to the poet Joe Brainard and his poetry book I Remember. Given the profound place of Chinese culture in the life of the poet, the paper includes explorations of Chinese poetic traditions. In each poem, the poet sought to describe some aspect of an overarching quest to both become a better poet, and to understand the origins of the poetic process. Surrealism’s interest in dreams and the unconscious is a significant part of the paper, as is various writing procedures taken up to further explore the relation of inner and outer reality. In keeping with this ambition, the essay formulates a poetics, a way, that is, to think about the nature of poetry in its possible relation to psychic wholeness and recovery from trauma. The paper both brings to the surface suppressed pains in the life of the poet, and sets these pains in a therapeutic context, one inspired in part by Carl Jung, and in part by the growing field of Poetry Therapy. Written to reflect the power of words, the poems spotlight self-relations and self-growth, they embody the interconnections among self, other and the world, and awaken one’s inner creativity in the healing of body, mind and soul.





Wang, Zijun (2019). When the Day Closes Itself: A Collection of Poems and an Essay. Capstone project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19041.

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