On the lyricism of failure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to deal with the subject of failure from various angles. The first angle relates to the lyrical failure, which takes place at any moment in which the mind chooses to envelop something with a familiar context instead of revealing what is new in it, or chooses to know “about” something rather than knowing the thing itself. The second angle considers the link between experiences of failure and the human ability to imagine and to live “parallel universes.” The third angle considers the experience of failure as being connected with the work of mourning. The fourth angle relates to the experience of failure as creating a dialogue with our interior sense of measure. The fifth angle considers the internal dialogue of failure as comprising within itself the unconscious fantasy of a “higher authority,” which sees beyond us and guards our steps. The sixth angle considers the experience of failure as a lyrical gesture, one which exists not in the territory of authentic truth, but in the breathing space which can be created only as the result of moving between choices. Finally, through the integration of the various angles a therapeutic case will be presented to demonstrate a situation of obsessive libidinal investment in the experience of failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-164
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Poetry Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Failure
  • Imagination
  • Lyricism
  • Mourning
  • Therapeutic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology


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