Treasure Island

Fred Babbin

(1925 / Chicago)


There is a rat
I call Depression
Inside me,
Eating at my innards.
The pain goes to my throat
So I am choking on my tears
My tears of blood.
Would that I could
Write of something else,
Would that I could.
And I am so very tired
If I could only end it all
Looking at words on the page
that reflect back to me
my misery.
And where am I?

Submitted: Friday, December 07, 2007
Edited: Thursday, April 28, 2011

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Comments about this poem (DEPRESSION by Fred Babbin )

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  • Desiree Whitamore (3/4/2008 11:04:00 AM)

    Whoa. Deep.
    I keep asking myself how I really feel, and depressed always pops into my head. This poem, almost describes how I feel, I just haven't figured it out myself yet. (Report) Reply

  • Chris Mendros (1/28/2008 4:24:00 AM)

    From the rat in your throat to the words reflecting misery back at you, a strongly evocative write.
    I think the last line works 'cause it sums up all the confusion that adds to the overall torment that depression brings. (Report) Reply

  • Gary Witt (1/16/2008 11:24:00 PM)

    Mr. Babbin: The rat is a perfect image. One change I would suggest is the word 'innards.' I would cut that word and most of the following line. I think if the rat is eating directly at your throat then it a) explains the choking and b) makes the expressed pain much more concrete, and probably more accurate as well.

    The last line is also extremely good. I might delet the extra 'I? '

    Your dissatisfaction with this one might come from the fact that it seems chopped at the end. The extra 'I? ' might be an attempt to bring better closure. I would like to see more, myself. You could go in either one of two directions: further down the spiral of depression, or find (somewhere, somehow) a way out. To me, the fact that you are still editing this represents your path out. And I suspect part of your motivation for writing this one is to provide that path. Or at least to point toward the moon.

    If I failed to mention that this is one fine poem, I apologize. It truly is. Thank you for sharing it.

    -G (Report) Reply

  • Sonny Rainshine (12/22/2007 3:43:00 PM)

    Powerful, powerful poem. The image of the rat inside is chilling and I wouldn't change a thing. (Report) Reply

  • Poem Hunter (12/19/2007 5:02:00 PM)

    Since you're a Buddhist right, might impact u profoundly
    Really changed my life around, sincerely, Zub. (Report) Reply

  • Janice Windle (12/12/2007 1:30:00 PM)

    I can relate to this too, Fred, though I've never been clinically depressed. I have had days (and weeks in the distant past) when I feel worthless - though never suicidal. Most recently, a case of social guilt sent me into this black mood and I wrote 'At the Bottom' (among my poems.) The feeling that your identity is shrunk to something small and dirty and vulnerable is certainly like a creature eating you from the inside out. Again, you've hit the nail on the head here. And the last line is fine - says it all. (Report) Reply

  • Tara very irritated with PH injustice (12/12/2007 10:14:00 AM)

    I'm glad you put the disclaimer on. This hit home, big time, as many here know - and a poet from here (literally) saved my life. So perhaps we ain't all such a bad lot, present (own) company excepted. t x (Report) Reply

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