Monday, March 20, 2006

The Good Die Young - Poetry Shortens Life

"A poet is someone who is astonished by everything."-- Anonymous

It is said that poets die younger than any other artist. In 2003, a study appearing in a November issue of Death Studies found that poets died younger than novelists, playwriters and nonfiction writers. The study was performed by James C. Kaufman a PhD of California State University. Kaufman believes that poets die younger because they are more likely to suffer from mental illness, such as depression. The study showed that Non-fiction writers lived 67.9 years, novelists lived 66.0 years and playwrights 63.4 years, while poets averaged only 62.2 years.

Personally, I don’t think that poetry shortens one life’s span. I do believe that reflects a deep emotion. Most poets that I have met have some sort of rooted pain that comes out in their writing. Furthermore, poets are able to empathize with others pain; therefore we are able to take that pain and turn it into poetry.

Maybe as poets, we feel too much.

I hope to live until I'm 70.

Though the study might show that poets die younger than any other type of writer, I’m certainly not going to start worrying.

Nonetheless, I found Mr. Kaufman’s research interesting.

Rose DesRochers


Balls said...

thank u rose for visiting me. its a pity i have to go away. will surely check u out when i am back.

nyasha said...

i agree with the fact that writing poetry can take a lot out of you, because as you say "it reflects a deep emotion". Sylvia Plath is a prime example.
I used to write quite a bit between 1995 and 1998, but most of the poems are about anger, sadness, anguish, depression and other such states. When i am happy and content, i can not seem to get anything out.
Will have to check out your poems!

Rose DesRochers said...

Balls, I'm sorry to hear that. Thank you for dropping in and Eastern I'll have to check out some of your older stuff.

nyasha said...

just read your essay about Katie - it must have been hard to go through a time like that.
I lost my brother when i was 5, and i thought it had not affected me. But it is only in my 30s that i began to realise that it had affected me tremendously.
By the way, where could i view some of your poetry?

Stephen Bess said...

This post sent me on a quest to find out the ages of some of my favorite poets. I found out that John Donne was 59. Robert Browning was 77 and Phyllis Wheatley was only 30. It's a very thought provoking post. I love to write poetry and I aspire to be a novelist. I'll be ready to leave this planet whenever my body tells me that I've had enough. I hope to live to be a feisty, but interesting old man. :)

Rose DesRochers said...

Interesting discovery Steve. I didn't know that you wrote poetry or maybe I did but had forgotten. LOL

Rose DesRochers said...

EB my condolences to the loss of your brother. You can read my poetry at

Dear AL said...

I stopped writing poetry, but the way I've been blogging, I guess I'm a goner!

Jon said...

If it's a person's time to go it's their time to go.Movie stars,poets,actors,etc...,etc...,has to die.

By the way,I have read quite of few of your writings and I have enjoyed them.Also thanks for your comments at my site.