"No, it won’t make a hole in your head.
The current’s quite small,
Hardly any at all,
And of course you won’t wake up quite dead."
The nurses, all gentle and kind,
Never told me that bits of my mind,
Would soon disappear,
That I’d feel very queer,
And not know before from behind.
Memories once precious to me,
Have vanished, no trace, all agree.
The voice of my child,
That amused and beguiled,
Was erased by the ‘cure’, E.C.T.
At Work, was I then in disgrace
From this hole in my mind – this great space?
For I found, to my shame,
This face - What’s his name?
Or this name – Who’s got the right face?
Who began this outrageous farce?
Who decides to switch on and to pass
A current designed
To ‘repair’ this bent mind?
Do they really know elbow from arse?
‘Electro Convulsive Therapy"
So writes the Oxford Companion to the Mind.
Such present joys therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind.”
The poet, Dyer*, could not have guessed
What would be done to minds distressed.
This precious place with knowledge filled,
Shocked, drugged, benumbed - then killed.
(*Sir Edward Dyer 1540 – 1607)