Thursday, July 10, 2008



I've never really thought about poetry as the ticket to self-help or self-health. But I have to admit to writing some small poems along the way. Were they helpful? I don't know, but it felt good at the time to write them. Were they good poems? Probably not. But according to author, Wendy Nyemaster, that doesn't matter.

"The idea", according to Wendy, "is to use poetry as a means to a more creative, expressive and authentic life." It can help you let go, be more grateful, explore your creativity in a whole new way. And it's helpful for sorting out some of life's sticky situations, as well. Say, for example, you have a relationship issue? Then write a sonnet. You want to stay in present moment? Try a haiku. Feeling a little lost? Let a villanelle help you find your own voice again.
In addition to chapters covering different types of poetry forms, Wendy gathered a few women and formed a 'poetry posse'. This group worked their way through all the chapters and contributed many of the poetry examples used in the book. Each chapter also includes a list of music the posse felt captured the feeling of the poetic form. I found the music suggestions interesting, some definitely not to my taste, but the poems written by 'real' women helped me get over my fear of poetry as perfection.

I must admit, this book intrigued me. I read Wendy's conversational, breezy introduction and I was hooked. I had to try this out for myself. Yes. I wrote a poem. Probably a very bad poem, but it did feel good to write it and it helped me see something a little clearer than before.
So, if you're looking for a new way to help yourself, you could pick up a copy of "Unleash the poem within" and try your hand at writing a poem or two.

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