Healing takes many forms. When people are truly present to each other, they often hear themselves for the first time.
Sometimes poetry works that way, especially in settings where there is ‘nowhere to get’, where the writing that emerges is more from the heart and not the quest for literary achievement.
John Fox’s Institute of Poetic Medicine (www.poeticmedicine.org) does huge and great work in facilitating healing for many diverse groups in society. I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended four of his Poetry Retreats. They’ve been a way of coming home to myself.
Individual poems can strike one in such a way they make us present to something new and often something very old.
I like that about Luci Tapahonso’s poetry. I’ve been reading her book today and liked these lines especially.
In her poem ‘All I Want’ there are the following lines midway:
Outside, her son is chopping wood,
his body an intennse arc.
The dull rhythm of winter
is the swinging of the axe
and the noise of children squeezing in
with the small sighs of wind
through the edges of the windows
( from A Breeze Swept Through (1987) West End Press, Alburquerque, p16)
Images, flecked with story, the ordinary moments sparkling like jewels of discovery.