Review: The Analyst: Poems by Molly Peacock

Reviewed by Rachel Newcombe Buy it. Borrow it. Read it. Please. This is what I have been telling everyone (especially my therapist colleagues) since I stumbled upon esteemed poet Molly Peacock’s newest poetry book, The Analyst (W.W. Norton, January 2017). This book deserves a new genre: psychoanalytic poetry memoir. Since the book’s birth there have been numerous reviews, and I cannot find one that is negative. Warning: this review will not be negative, either. Molly Peacock does something very few people do. She publicly names her psychoanalyst, Joan Workman Stein. Peacock’s willingness to do this creates embodied poems, the analytic couples come alive: Joan and Molly. I’m not sure if voyeur is the accurate word to describe what I experienced reading Peacock’s poems. We are invited into her analysis, the sacred, inimitable intimacy that emerges in the analyst-patient relationship. And even more sacred, Peacock’s poems capture the tender tumult between patient and analyst when the nature of the dyad changes. The Analyst is a poetic mutual love story between a patient and an analyst, a life story told through poems fueled by free associations. I imagine these poems as words and sentences that emerged and swirled around inside Joan […]

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