In a world where we constantly hear that everything is broken and humanity is fracturing in separateness many things beyond physical illness and physical fracture need healing. We need a more personal and collective healing.
From the beginning of time, poetry has been a means for people to express their deepest emotions and create healing in ritual and ceremony. Poetry as an art form predates literacy. In preliterate societies, poetry was frequently employed as a means of recording oral history, storytelling (epic poetry), genealogy, law and other forms of expression or knowledge that modern societies might expect to be handled in prose. Some writers believe that poetry has its origins in song. - Source Wikipedia.
The importance of rhythm is fundamental to poetry as to life. A poet is then the creator of the rhythm of life.
When I write poems I first need to hear the rhythm of words playing into my ears. The sequence of those words might not seem logically bounding and yet their sound and rhythm speak directly of and to the life experience that brings us together and connects us beyond reasoning. In this rhythmic experience we are not separated but all the same. When we tap into these rhythms our mind, body and soul get back in sync with the world around.
The hearing of the sound of a beating heart, or of the crashing waves on the shore mesmerises us. Those natural rhythm are the same we find in poetry. Have you, for example, noticed how much lighter, more peaceful and aligned you feel after attending a concert or doing any practice that includes following or listening to rhythmic sounds or movements? Rhythm can have a powerful impact on our consciousness. It can shift us out of our thought stream and into an expanded state of awareness in which we perceive the world differently.
Try this experiment: pick randomly 5 words (ask your kids 5 words; open a book and pick 5 words; listen to the news and pick 5 words) play with their rhythm writing down a lyric. No thinking nor logic, just put the pen down and play with them rhythmically (if it helps have some instrumental music playing in the background to give you a sense of rhythm). Do not spend more than 10 minutes writing your lyric, just make sure you do not edit yourself. Once you have done writing it read it out loud to yourself.
Allow the rhythm to wash over you, noticing the sensations that arise within. Detach from any particular outcome and simply play with the experience. Feel the beat of words merging into the multitude of beats that make the whole lyric.
The rhythm of the heart is the first thing we hear of a newborn life even before a body is formed. Our first heartbeat is our first poem. Poetry is giving sound and rhythm to silence, to darkness.
Poetry has the power to evoke memories. It calls up not only the memories but the associated feelings. It carriers messages from the unconscious to the conscious mind. These elements in association create a link between the internal world and the external reality; a link from the unconscious to the conscious.
Listen to some spoken poetry and then allow yourself some contemplation time: what images and feeling pop up?
Novalis said that “poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.” He was speaking against the kinds of narrowing that reduce a person to only body or to only mind—the fallacy, on one side, of believing a person can ever be merely a body or merely a “means of production” and the equal fallacy, on the other, of disembodiment, which reduces us to abstractions, ideologies, and labels.
As a business heartist (as I like to call myself) my poetry is offered as an invitation to heal the world of business. The blind and fierce rational power that corporate imposes on us is inhuman. Poetry invites us to dwell out of isolation and at the intersection between body, emotion, mind, experience, culture, history… Poetry is asking to step into the wholeness of seeing and feeling and, restore wellbeing.
Take time to reflect on the healing power of poetry. Explore writing poems. Anyone can write poetry! It is our birth right and human rhythm. All we have to do is allow the words to move rhythmically and inspire us to give them a shape and turning into rhythm. I always feel when reading or writing a poem a shift, a click within making me feel less broken and less alone. I often say: “I became a scientist because I wanted to cure people and I wrote poetry to heal myself.”
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