07
Jan
12

millrat therapy

This past week, while going through a box of old papers, I ran across a folder containing some poetry I had written in 1991. I remember this having been a stressful period, and I had been reading a book about writing poetry as a form of therapy. The book encouraged the reader not to judge what he or she might write, and not to worry about the quality of the end results. This was to be about process rather than product.

I recall working on several pieces and eventually typing up nine of the poems. I also created an accompanying collage or a drawing on each of the nine pages. I photocopied about fifteen sets, which I titled “Millrat Therapy“, and sent them to friends and family. I guess that was part of my “therapy”.  (It appears that I removed the illustration I did for Art in the Second Grade, which I believe I later re-used in a piece of artwork.) So after sleeping in a blue folder for twenty years, here are a few of the batch. If you click on each image, it should become larger for easier reading. Thanks for your interest.

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7 Responses to “millrat therapy”


  1. January 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Bob, really enjoyed these, but not while thinking about the reality of your experiences, that’s for sure. That kind of honesty, I find, gets more and more difficult to express as I get older. It’s really cool that you saved these, and have that kind of detailed record. I had some things like that once, but more a book, and it found its way one year to a fireplace while I drank a Moosehead Ale and enjoyed the warmth of the fire. Rock on, brother! Oh, by the way, if I remember correctly the poem about the second grade ended up in a piece you showed at the Cultural Center in your solo show. When I was installing your show I stopped and read it. I think it had some crayons in a plexiglas box…a very cool piece of work that spoke volumes to me as a result of my own Catholic school experience. Happy New Year, man.

    • January 8, 2012 at 2:49 am

      Thanks Mark. What a bummer about your book. You are not alone, however, in doing spontaneous moves like that. And yes, I forgot! That piece at the Cultural Center did include the poem. What a memory you have Sir!

  2. January 8, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Beautiful example of spontaneous bibliotherapy!

  3. 5 Angela Mascolino
    January 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Bob,
    Thank you so much for sharing! As for “Art In The Second Grade”…I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to give what I hope are extremely opposite experiences to my Catholic school students. BTW Tomie dePaola wrote and illustrated a childeren’s book about his elementary art experience in the first grade. I read and discuss this book with my students. Check it out. 🙂
    One of the numerous Bob Villamagna fans,
    Angela (aka strawberry)

  4. 6 Deysi
    November 30, 2014 at 12:30 am

    I am wondering and hoping if you could tell me what kind of poetry this is or the name of the book that you read? I am a future art teacher and i think basing a lesson of this particular work of yours would be really fun for high school students. “Art in the second grade” brought me back to childhood. I wish i could have seen its collage counterpart. Thank you for sharing!!

    • January 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Hello, I do not recall the name of the book after these 20+ years. I bet if you Google the terms “poetry” and “therapy”, you will find a few fine texts to help you out. Good luck in your art teaching career!

      Robert


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