Sunday, August 7, 2011

poetry adventure


Lately I've been catching up on a rather amazing backlog of my favorite magazine, The Sun. As you know, for some reason for the past year I've craved memoirs of women going through soul searching times. And now the tide is turning again. I've been able to catch up on a lot of issues, still have plenty more to go, but I'm getting there. It was a delight recently to read the interview in the December, 2010 issue: "Written on the Bones: Kim Rosen on Reclaiming the Ancient Power of Poetry" by Alison Luterman (one of my favorite writers for The Sun).

As often happens with The Sun, this article spoke directly to my soul. I have a profound respect for the power of poetry. At times I've memorized poems that have been great friends to me when I've been in despair. And then when life speeds up again I find I'm moving too fast to give poetry the time and space it needs and it falls off my radar. Just in the same way that losing my sense of humor is a danger sign for me, I really would be well served to notice if I'm able to slow down enough to enjoy a good poem. And, thankfully, these days I am.

This conversation between Kim Rosen and Alison Luterman focuses on the power of reading poetry and learning poems by heart. While they touch on the power of writing poetry, they're really talking about the appreciation and enjoyment of making great poems part of one's life. It inspired me to check out Rosen's book, Saved by a Poem, and wander the anthology section of the library's poetry collection.

There I found an amazing series of books, which I'm just diving into, but so far would highly recommend: Roger Housen's Ten Poems series. I believe there are five books in this series so far: Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Ten Poems to Open Your Heart, Ten Poems to Set You Free, Ten Poems to Last a Lifetime, and Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again. Right now I'm reading Ten Poems to Open Your Heart (who's surprised?) and I love the format. He's selected ten excellent poems and after the text of each one he includes a beautiful exploration, not a scholarly essay. He looks at the themes in really human ways, often bringing in examples from his own (fairly messy) life. This is good, soulful stuff. If you've been wanting to explore poetry, but have been put off by dry study of the classics in school, I would encourage you to visit your local library and check out one of the Ten Poems series and try it again.

Have a beautiful week!