Nourishing Words - The Medicine of Poetry
Recently I’ve been drawn back to the world of sound and words. The holiness of silence, the delicate interaction of words and rhythm falling like rain. The timeless melting that occurs when a poem is spoken and resonates to the very core of us.
I do believe poetry is medicine, a nourishing wise voice that can reach into the heart of us, speak to our hopes, fears and sorrows in a way that nothing else can. In times of despair, it’s the poetry book we reach for, those well thumbed favourites that offer comfort and understanding, speaking the words we long to hear. Poems can be a form of prayer, an invocation or a soothing message to the soul. We find ourselves in poems, rediscover our truest dreams and leave the outside world behind.
I spent many amazing years working and training in sound, with Chloe Goodchild and the Naked Voice facilitators, with Arthur Hull and his merry band of percussion facilitators. It was a joy to explore those rhythmic places, to discover my own voice and sound, to develop poetry and spoken word, to collaborate with other creative folk. After releasing Horses Hooves CD in 2016, I moved to other writing and concentrated on building my homeopathy practice. I took a break from group work and schools.
Now I’m hungry for rhythm, hungry for poems, new instruments and a new way of working. I’m excited to incorporate these different parts of myself and bring a new dimension to holistic work. I’ve been experimenting with ‘Poetry Baths’ while working at Earthsong, a creative family festival that takes place every summer. In September I’m bringing this to a wider audience with a Poetry Bath in Dublin Wellness Centre, which I hope will become a regular event. Also in ‘A Way to Heal’, Nenagh in October.
Participants are invited to sit or lie down (yoga mats, cushions and blankets are provided) and, a bit like a sound bath, they will be immersed in soothing rhythmic sound, accompanied by spoken poetry. I’ve learned most of the poems by heart. I spend a lot of time selecting poems that provide doorways to those deeper places within us.
Poems that speak to the heart.
Poems that invite us to be present and peaceful.
Poems that bring self-forgiveness and evoke our inner wisdom (the voice that becomes lost in the everyday rush and scramble of family/work/chores).
Poems that remind us of the brevity and preciousness of life.
Poems that help us heal.
Poems that give us a nudge or a kick forward.
Poems that cut away the dross.
Poems that motivate and inspire.
I’ve come to understand the medicine of poetry, the power of poems to wake us up and bring clarity to befuddled minds. And the nature of different poems; some gentle and unassuming, some rushing through like a rising tide. Some of the poems I speak are my own, the rest are offerings from other poets, poems that have spoken to me, inspired me and opened doors for me over the years.
If this is something that inspires you or piques your curiosity keep an eye on my Poety Bath events on Facebook or join me at this one in September
This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
Left to us.
No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.
No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.
No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.
That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.
- Gregory Orr