Have you ever contemplated the power of poetry? I just had a dream that I was nominated to be the poetry ambassador for a county fair! Initially, it seemed this role was a nondescript, superfluous position. At first it made me chuckle. Then, within the dream, I pondered. Perhaps if I was in this position, this is what I would do to help others understand how potent poetry can be. I was making a plan. When I awoke, I recalled my dream. I then realized I was just given the outline for this post! Let’s see how this dynamic art form can help to ease our grief.
Far from frivolous, I can tell you that poetry has power. It is capable of painting pictures in the mind. The rhythms and rhymes make music. Expressing ourselves poetically allows us to educate, illustrate, captivate, incubate, orchestrate and speculate. Writing poetry can soothe, intensify or justify our emotions. Poetry has the potential to help us in times of grief as well as in other times of our lives.
Powerful poetry, incidentally, doesn’t have to have rhyme or rhythm, but I prefer to create rhymed and metered pieces. I thrive on the challenge of finding and fitting syllables and sounds to make meaning. It is much as condensing the free form of everything as choice, but then situating it within a structure. Even as a child, I loved to write poems. With over a quarter century of published poems, I must admit, I am over twenty five years old! Here are three of my poems, each with a very different purpose.
Poetic Power – Work with the Grief
When Christopher Reeves, who played the character Superman, passed I was quite saddened. I could have written to indulge in my grief. However, I desired to honor his life and career as well as to express hope.
Epic Hero A hero's life by many standards stood for what was right and countered that of wrong. He was a mild and mannered man who could be brave and brazen to protect a throng. His broad and sculpted shoulders made girls melt. He led a double life or so it seemed. A humble writer, writing what was dealt; in secret saw that right would be redeemed. Emblazoned scarlet letter on his chest did mark his life upon the silver screen; and yet the accident became a test; revealed more epic hero than we'd seen. Too soon St. Peter puzzled o'er a streak. No bird or plane but Superman he seeks! First Publication Rights, Iowa Poetry Association, Lyrical Iowa 2005
Poetic Power – Try on a New Emotion
A few years ago, I taught a week long elementary level poetry residency which was sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council. My next poem was shared with some of the older groups of students. This particular one has a more light hearted mood. Sometimes writing something in a humorous vein can brighten our spirit.
Give a Frog a Tour I'd give a tour and if I could, tis for my friend, the jumping frog. He'd try to let me know he's there, but hopped right past my barking dog. Since frog does not know how to knock, he flatly squeezed beneath my door. His quiet ribbit was quite soft, so he hopped across my floor. He found my plants and thought, "Oh boy!" jumping in the nearest flower. Meanwhile I fetched my water can I gave poor frog a shower! He was quite shocked and leapt right out, He squeaked that he was soaked, I did explain, "You didn't knock." Frog's terse response: he croaked.
Celebrate Beauty with Power of Poetry!
Living in a rural midwestern area, blizzards are an event that can create a beautiful transformation of the landscape! Searching for the sublime when an unexpected event occurs can be healing for the soul.
Iowa Blizzard Behold post blizzard: landscape thickened white. The hibernating humans hidden well. Leave nose print evidence on windows bright. Avoid frost-bite and live the tale to tell. They saw Tom Sawyer - overhead he roams Dispersing frozen whitewash in the sky. A twinkling transformation of our homes, To gingerbread with icing by and by. Near marshmallow hay bales sparkle brightly. The snow plows rumbling, lumbering to fetch our fast paced lives from immobility. Snow plows scratching pathways like Etch-A-Sketch! Ye blizzards come. Oh yeah come winter, slow our lives of busyness, with winter snow! First Publication Rights, Iowa Poetry Association, Lyrical Iowa 1999
During your grieving process, remember my dream inspiration. Writing (or reading) poetry can help. Search the recesses of your mind to find deep meaning, to express grief, to look for hope, to find some humor, to portray the beauty. If you’d like another poem, here is Michelangelo Inspiration.
https://mypoeticside.com/show-classic-poem-1193 I close with Maya Angelo’s poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Poetry can create a grief healing response. Reading, writing (or singing) poetry may express, appease or release your grief.