Monday, June 9, 2008

Poetic Medicine

I've just started reading Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making by John Fox, and I'm loving it. While there's so much to say, perhaps I'll just quote the first paragraph from the first chapter.

"Poetry is a natural medicine; it is like a homeopathic tincture derived from the stuff of life itself--your experience. Poems distill experience into the essentials. Our personal experiences touch the common group we share with others. The exciting part of this process is that poetry used in this healing way helps people integrate the disparate, even fragmented parts of their life. Poetic essences of sound, metaphor, image, feeling and rhythm act as remedies that can elegantly strengthen our whole system--mental, physical, and spiritual."

This book is a true delight to read, and I highly recommend it!

14 comments:

Danielle said...

I used to write volumes of poetry when I was in my early teens into my late twenties. Then during depressive low I threw them all away. My old college roommate still will not let me forget that stupid action. But it was meant to be. Yet, I can't find myself writing poetry anymore. Not sure why.

Jena said...

I find that all forms of art and creativity including poems are so therapeutic for the soul. They challenge you to think deeper and look at things from another perspective, or see things from another angel of different light. In music and theatre, to hear things in a different way than before. It stretches us and inspires us. Well I say "us" in all of this, but I guess i really just mean "me". ;)

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Danielle,
Interesting. When I was pregnant, I threw away all my journals from college--which were about my depressive episodes. I was so worried about my son finding them when he was older.

But, I do write quasi-poems in my journals during periods of great emotional upheaval because like John Fox said, they seem reflect the essence of the experience.

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jena,
I would agree. I like what you wrote about art "challenging you to think deeper and look at things from another perspective."

That's why I feel so bad that art programs have been eliminated from so many schools in the United States. There are generations of children who have never been exposed to art, music, poetry, dance, and theater!

Susan

naturalgal said...

While in a "manic" episode I wrote stuff that I thought was very, very good. But latter, I found it sooo embarrassing.
Naturgal

Jazz said...

Susan--
Another book I need to add to my wish-list!

ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

I'll have to check it out indeed!

Nancie said...

Dear Susan,

Thanks for sharing about the book. I used to write poems too in my younger days and they helped me to express my thoughts and feelings. Now I no longer write poem but enjoy writing on my blog whenever I am well.

Thanks for all your encouragements. Hope you have a wonderful week! Take care.

Nancie

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Jazz, definitely a keeper! I got a used copy that's as good as new for $3.99 plus shipping.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Ariadnek,
I've now read the first chapter and part of the second, and it's truly a terrific book.

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Naturgal,
That sometimes happens. The great thing is that you can toss it and start over!

Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nancie,
The great thing about a blog is that you can essays, poems, haiku's, song lyrics, or anything else you want because it's yours. Hope you're feeling better!

Susan

Luz H said...

Very Interesting! I used to write a lot of poetry in journals...and at some points thought I would be a poet. It didn't last long, because I would always throw the journals away depending on the cycle. It did help tho to write for that time, it was a good therapy.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Luz,
I used to write a lot of poetry too, and haven't in years. But I'm still reading this book and loving it, and I've decided to start writing it again. Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your comment.

Susan