I Go From Bad to Verse


SKU e-book Category

106 in stock


By Donna S. Rubin


ISBN: 978-1-84747-054-6
Published: 2006
Pages: 52
Key Themes: poetry, manic depression, bi-polar disorder, humour, self-harm, North American author


I’ve written a book, but it’s not the usual kind of “I’ve got this disorder, this is how I deal”. My book is funny and it rhymes. I think it helps people. Those I’ve shared it with said it’s made it easier to understand the illness without making it obvious that that’s what I am doing. I rhyme a lot, make fun of psychiatry and talk about the hospital as an imperfect place that doesn’t promise a cure, but does the best it can. I make fun of the food, my own doctor, and talk about friends I’ve made, and lost. My last poem talks about self-injury, which to some people might be disturbing, but it is a part of my illness, so I write about it.

I Go from Bad to Verse is not like any other book – it makes my story approachable; in between readable verses, I explain how I came to write each poem. I think anyone can pick it up and grasp what someone with a chronic illness goes through. Just because an illness is a mental one shouldn’t stop it from being understandable and have people relate to it. Donna S. Rubin

About the Author

Donna S. Rubin is 48 and lives in a suburb of New York City. She was diagnosed with bipolar-disorder approximately 12 years ago and her poetry reflects issues dealing with having a mental illness. She is a college graduate and even though she wasn’t diagnosed in college, in retrospect she went through a major depression in her freshman year. Currently she is between jobs, trying to figure out what her next step is before becoming a famous author!

Book Extract

I wrote this poem during my freshman year in college, when I first encountered depression and all the uncertainty it brought. This was before I was ever even in therapy, and the questions that I ask in it are so much the struggle I came to later that I had to include it here. It is one of the few poems I’ve ever written that doesn’t rhyme.

Who is the Me that thinks and
Searches for herself and doesn’t see
the good anywhere in herself and tries

to find it in her friends?

Who is the Me that judges herself
by many others and thinks herself so
low and worthless that she hates
her words and deeds?

Who is the Me that struggles with
feelings and tries to fit them in a common
mould, like an old familiar place?

Who is the Me that houses many
different people as they all pull

separate ways and clash their wills
at every move?

Who is the Me that wants to grow but
really doesn’t and this conflict of her
mind creates the havoc she endures?

Can she ever face the future and reality
that she should face? Can she ever
realize that just ’cause life’s not easy

doesn’t mean you fall apart?

Who is that Me, her mind
whirls like tornadoes, who writes such
troubled questions in the hopes
of finding sense?



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