Poetry and Migraine
This paper contrasts the work of two poets who structure books around the migraine experience: Mexican Claudia Hernández de Valle-Arizpe author of Hemicránea (1998) and US poet Michael Dickman in Green Migraine (2015). Both struggle against the silence, the invisibility and privatization of chronic headache pain. Each confronts psychic and corporeal experiences of migraine: Dickman in fragmentary post-event poems formed around five migraines of different colors. Hernández’s poems chronicle more recognizable experiences of pain that decompose into verbal wreckage and come back together in provisional recovery. Both authors use poetic structures not to heal, but to incorporate the instability of migraine into language.