The Poetry Studio
Welcome to the Poetry Studio!
Many years ago, I saw the impact that a poem can have on someone. A dear friend of mine was going through cancer treatments and she discovered a poem about gratitude that gave her strength. She had taped the poem to her fridge so that she would read it every morning as a prayer to begin her day.
I remember standing in her kitchen as she shared with me the story of her special poem. That was the day that I truly learned the power that a poem has to fortify, inspire and strengthen us.
That moment in my friend’s kitchen was a turning point for me. It made me realize what a gift it can be to share our musings that arrive on the page in the form of poetry. We don’t know who our words will touch or how they might affect others, only that these heartfelt words may end up on someone’s fridge one day quietly supporting them when they most need it.
Since that time, I have used poems a lot when I facilitate workshops. I incorporate bits of poetry into worship experiences and to open spiritual direction sessions because Poetry is a language that speaks to the soul.
- A poem can inspire us
- A poem can strengthen us
- A poem can express for us what is in our heart
Poetry uses images, paradox and storytelling in a way that points toward the deeper truths of our human journey.
I was inspired to create The Poetry Studio after someone said to me, “You must have written enough poems for a book by now.”
When I pondered this comment, I found that I didn’t feel compelled to produce a book of poetry — I wanted to create a poetry experience. I wanted to offer people a moment to sit quietly, to listen to the poem, to read it, and to allow it to nourish them.
May you be nourished by your experience of the Poetry Studio. I am delighted to have you join me here.
I hope that it feels like you have entered an on-line book and that as you scroll through the pages here,
the poems and images will speak to your heart and soul.
As you continue reading this page, you will find some suggestions for ways that you can interact with a poem so that being with the words and images
in enriching and nourishing.
Poetry as Sacred Reading
We can spend time with a poem using the ancient rhythm of sacred reading and listening known as lectio divina. This form of sacred reading and listening invites us to take a moment to settle ourselves, bringing our awareness more deeply into our heart space, before we read or listen to a poem or text.
Then, when you hear the poem read aloud, allow the words of the poem to wash over you, noticing if there is a word or a phrase that pulls you in, or seems to shimmer before you. Gently repeat this word or phrase to yourself as though you are getting to know it.
Then, listen to the poem a second time, as something seems to deepen when we listen to a poem more than once. After listening a second time, allow the word or phrase that is resonating with you to unfold in your imagination, noticing what images arise or what feelings are stirred within you.
Next, allow yourself to sit quietly with the word or image and notice what response it evokes in you. Is there an inner movement that arises, such as an action or a new awareness that may assist you in your life right now?
Finally, you are invited to rest with your word or phrase as you bring your time to a close. You may return to this word or phrase throughout the day and notice what it stirs in your heart.
We can interact with poems in this slow, savouring manner as a form of soul-sipping nourishment for our lives.
Poetry as a Gateway to Prayer or Meditation
Listening to a poem is a wonderful way to enter into a time of meditation or prayer. You may wish to light a candle, settle into your meditation space, listen to one of the poems in this collection and allow it to invite you to settle more deeply into a time of quiet presence.
You may wish to visit the poems in Chapter Two for a moment of quiet reflection.
Poetry as an Invitation to Journaling
Oftentimes, poems beget other poems! Once you read a poem, it can stir your imagination and open up a flow of words or thoughts within you.
People have told me that some of the poems in this collection make them want to go and get their journal and sit for a little while with pen and paper, capturing their thoughts.
May you discover the poems lead you into a time of soulful reflection.
A poem is not a piece of writing. It is a bridge of words that leads to a place there are no words for.