THE HEALING POWER OF BLAKE: A Distillation, edited and with an introduction by John Diamond, M.D.
John Diamond. The Healing Power of Blake. Bloomingdale, IL: Creativity Publishing, 1998. $14.95. The author of this charming little book is a medical doctor. Dr. Diamond, rather than relying on the current medical model of treating the disease rather than the patient, prefers to concentrate “on the positive—the sufferer’s innate healing power, his spirit, his life Energy.” In other words, Diamond posits that poetry has a therapeutic power to actuate a person’s own ability to heal: “All creativity has the power to raise the Life Energy, the healing power within, the vis medicatrix naturae of Hippocrates. And poetry is no exception, in fact its ability is second only to that of music—and when it is sung it is, of course, the equal.” As he says in the Introduction, he finds the poems of Blake to “have the greatest Healing Power.”
The book is a compendium of extracts from Blake’s works, the prophetic books for the most part. And, as such, may not be of much interest to Blake scholars. However, the book might find its way into the hands of other types of readers, such as those folks interested in alternative forms of medicine.
I can say that the book did nothing for the raging migraine I had, or for my back, when I pulled some muscles. But it did have a nice effect during a recent head cold, when I mellowed out with some ginger tea and The Healing Power of Blake. Also, if I put the book on my head, my posture straightens up quite nicely. For $14.95, that’s not a bad deal.