Thursday, June 19, 2008

Poetic Medicine (Part 2)

Sorry again about the mood charts post. I'm feeling fine, but I'm a bit tired and need to regroup before writing this post. I'll do it next week. Not only did I stop taking medication, but I started a digital photography class on Monday, and today I'm taking a "voice training" class. I love singing, and do it with my Autoharp, but I figured I could be better at it. I also decided that since blowing a harmonica is so relaxing, singing would be a great Bipolar Wellness Activity as well.

So, my post today isn't about mood charts (as promised; sorry guys), but it is the second in a series about Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making by John Fox. I am loving this book and there are so many good quotes that it's difficult to decide what to share with you.

The first quote is from the Preface and was written by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, who is the author of The Little Book of Kitchen Table Medicine, which is a book I've just ordered and will tell you about after I've read it. Read Dr. Remen's bio. She's quite remarkable. She writes:

"Poetry is simply speaking truth. Each of us has a truth that is as unique as our own fingerprints. Without knowing that truth, without speaking it aloud, we cannot know who we are and that we are already whole. In the most profound way, speaking that truth allows us to know that our life matters, that our viewpoint has never existed before. That our suffering, our joy, our fears and hopes are important and meaningful. One of the best kept secrets in this technically oriented culture is that simply speaking truth heals."

The following quote is by John Fox. "Your life is valuable whether you feel well or ill, joy or sorrow. You may experience joy and sorrow in a single day, in the space of one hour. Allowing room for this paradox is an essential part of living a whole life. It can be difficult because our culture places values on the mythological happiness of advertising eternal youth riding high and beautiful in a brand-new Bronco.

"Finding a way to 'talk' in a poem about your real life experience, experience that includes paradox, is to embrace your whole life. In the process you may intuit the subtle thread of joy that is within you, always."

6 comments:

Jazz said...

Susan--
I like this post a lot...I would love to teach a poetry class that revolved around just this idea--that poetry is your truth (a lot like journal writing!) and that speaking your truth can be healing...the problem is getting around most people's fear of poetry as something "literary" and "something only poets do." We are all poets inside, and our child-selves know this.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Jazz,
This book so wonderful that I'm going to start writing poetry again. I never thought of poetry in quite this way. And the poems he includes from the workshops he's taught are much more satisfying to me than most of the "literary" poetry I've read.

Susan

Mary said...

This book is really great. I love writing poetry, and I write about how I feel..a great release..take care.Mary

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mary,
Welcome to my blog. Thanks for your comment. I just looked at your blog, and wow! Great poetry! I'll visit again when I have more time.

Susan

P.J. said...

I like these thoughts on poetry. I used to write all the time, with every free minute, just about. I certainly enjoy it, and I think I'll get back into it too!! I just read a poem on Clueless blog, and it gave the the jump as well. Maybe a joint blog of just poetry??

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear P.J.,
Poetry is good, but I can't write it all the time. The great thing about blogging is that we can write anything and use any medium we'd like. Today, we can write an essay, and tomorrow we can write poetry.

Susan