Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen and Melvyn Bragg share stories of how literature can help with mental health problems.
Stephen Fry on depression and bipolar disorder
Keats’s poem was written the year after his brother Tom died of tuberculosis, and Keats was anxious about his own health. Larkin’s poem was written towards the end of his life, when he struggled with writer’s block.
“Oddly enough, they do [cheer me up]. I suppose it’s because there’s an authenticity about them. They have really been to places that I’ve been, but they’ve made something of it, something permanent and remarkable. Two incredible poems.”
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