In honor of April being National Poetry Month, let’s explore poetry. While it could be opening up some memories of school days where you may have been forced to fix a poem in your mind and then dutifully spit the words out upon command. Let’s approach poetry in another way. Think of it as a story told in a beautiful way with descriptive and often unusual phrases.
Find something that moves you and read the words aloud. Record your voice on a tape recorder, on the voice memo on your phone, or on your answering machine. Play it back so you can hear the inflection and passion as your essence seeps into the words. Listen for the poet’s subtle suggestions through time and space. Breathe in a new way of being because you have changed your way of thinking with the help of poetry.
Here is one of my favorites…
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
How will poetry change you today?