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The Power & Legacy of Poetry

The Power & Legacy of Poetry


Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree. ~Astrid Alauda

My childhood’s most memorable moments were made up of pen and paper and muse. My father and I loved to play Poem-Poem! We gave each other an opening line, then built our own poems around them. Time limit: five minutes. What emerged was usually hilarious, often downright nonsensical, but sometimes, stop-you-in-your-tracks-stunning! At any rate, what we wrote was perhaps not so important as the fact that we wrote it, thinking, feeling, creating, expressing, laughing and sharing so much.

Let poetry pamper you. It is, methinks, to the soul what manure is to the rose: nourishing, enriching, life-giving.

Did You Know?

  • The word ‘therapy’ comes from the Greek word therapeia, meaning to nurse or cure through dance, song, poem and drama.
  • The ancient Egyptians used words written on a papyrus that would later be ingested by the patient.
  • Apollo is the god of both poetry and medicine.

Poetry As Therapy

Surprise! You can actually become a Certified Poetry Therapist. To qualify, you should have studied Psychology and Literature, and of course have a passion for words.

Part of your job would be to select a poem that echoes what a person is feeling, so that it might help open a dialogue on the subject. Reading Emily Dickinson, for example, might help you realise that loneliness isn’t unique. Now this is where the therapist’s training comes in, because poems mean different things to different people, and a poem that uplifts one person might depress another.

A therapist once asked a patient how it felt to hold a published copy of a poem he’d written. The man simply replied, “I feel like I am somebody, finally.” The act of writing those poems helped him define himself.

Even more, poetry can help you connect to others, Stephen Dobyns, author of Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry, says, “I believe that a poem is a window that hangs between two or more human beings who otherwise live in darkened rooms.”

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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4:59AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013


12:23AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

12:55PM PST on Dec 29, 2011

I believe that poetry is a very effective therapist. Poetry can inspire our imagination or just help us through a bad day.
I write poetry for years (and usually post one poem on my page) - it helps me to follow a thought and to make sense of it.

6:14AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

we need more poetry in this world!

12:27PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

I love poetry it's a way to exspress ourselves

3:51AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Whisper my secret name from the shadows.
Draw me into forbidden embrace.
Let dark energies circulate,

8:33PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

the poem game sounds like a cool game. This is something more parents should do with their children.

1:18PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

Poetry is an effective and powerful tool of expression. It enlivens the soul and sharpens the wits. It cultivates delicate and fine feelings. Poetry must receive world wide support and receive proper importance in education system.

5:20AM PST on Dec 8, 2011

Any kind of art is a better way to live.
To inspire and be inspired. That's the purpose of life

1:01AM PST on Dec 8, 2011

Great ideas. I used to write a lot of poetry and have a selection in a book of mine, plus published elsewhere. Once I've finished my novel, I'll get back to it. :)

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