The black Dog - Jamie Davis
Have you met the black dog?
Has he followed you late at night, in your dreams or in your mind?
He is cunning, and will lie in wait,
until he senses the time is right.
Then when you least expect it, he will pounce,
taking your freedom, your confidence, your courage.
Once he has you in his bite, he will control your life.
He will make you do things you never thought you could or should.
Those who have not met the Black Dog will not understand where you are,
or who you are, and they will not know where to find you, or your soul.
They will just see a different person, and won't know why.
They will still care, still love you, and try to understand you.
But you have the Black Dog, he is your new friend.
He holds the power, and gives you his strength,
but his strength will bleed you dry.
He will show you the way to your new life,
but this new life you cannot sustain,
In the end you will put out your hand for help,
and those that love you will release you from the Black Dog's bite.
But beware of the Black Dog, as he will always be there,
hiding and lurking somewhere.
You must respect the Black Dog, and be at the ready,
don't let him get you, don't let him win.
Now you hold the power, and you make the rules,
and, should that Black Dog cross your path,
you will know how to fight to redeem your life,
'cause that Black Dog is never as strong as the person he bites.
Written by Jamie Davis, The Black Dog is a poem about suicide awareness, prevention and depression. It features various literary devices such as symbolism, metaphors and repetition of the words “Black Dog”. In the final stanza it reads, “cause that Black Dog is never as strong as the person he bite”, symbolising that depression is not as strong as the person that has it and that it can be overcome. Davis has also included numerous metaphors in his poem, such as “his strength will bleed you dry”, this theoretical dog cannot bleed you dry but the disease will exhaust you of every emotion and feeling that you have. Davis also uses personification throughout the poem as he gives depression human characteristics such as “cunning” and capable of “holding the power”. Conclusively, the poem is successful as it features a good use of literary devices and follows a theme which can be related to and can help to raise awareness of the mental illness.