I mentioned yesterday that I would return to the idea of poetry as offering one form of bibliotherapy (which, you will recall, is the use of literature to support mental health and well-being). Note: there was a viewing error on the original post, so I deleted it and am re-adding.
Poetry quiets my mind when traditional meditation is not effective. I focus on each word and track its relation to the words before and after, maintaining that overall focus to understand the image or idea being illustrated. So, the reading is a gift as it settles our thoughts – and the poem itself is its own gift.
I found this excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” on Project Gutenberg, a tremendous resource for free public domain literature. I’m not a critical reader of poetry and can’t offer an analysis, but I was calmed by the reading and the words. I hope it quiets your mind, and I encourage you to explore Project Gutenberg or Poets.org for more poetic therapy.
Feel free to comment on this post to share your favorite poem or poet.
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars, And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, And the tree-toad is a chef-d’œuvre for the highest, And the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven, And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, And the cow crunching with depress’d head surpasses any statue, And a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels.