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Poetry and Inner Peace
bibliomaniac
Mysticism, eroticism, and murder in Florence and Connecticut.
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It will soon be 2010. For many of us poets, the dawning of a new year ushers in a time of introspection and self evaluation. A time of atonement and soul searching, a season of personal reflection and reckoning which purifies the spirit and prepares us to face the challenges of our daily struggle to live with courage and conviction.

 

The reading and writing of poetry is highly conducive to this process, and as such it should occupy a central position in our quest for meaning. Poetry can greatly enhance our emotional health and grant us an increased sense of well being. Poetry can strengthen the vital core of a quiet mind. It can calm our emotional turbulence and deepen our serenity of soul. In short, poetry can be an essential ingredient of our inner peace.

 

In 2001 I was denied tenure at the community college where I’d been teaching for nine years. In 2002 my father passed away after a long out with colon cancer. In 2003 my wife and I decided to terminate our marriage of 15 years. Without much exaggeration, I think you could call this a period of great turmoil and tremendous stress. Psychologists tell us that just one of these crises alone could shatter the psyche of the average individual. These three major blows in succession had the potential to utterly destroy me. I believe I escaped total ruin by the grace of God and the power of poetry. Poetry helped me survive.

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Poetry and meditation, for

Poetry and meditation, for me, go a long way toward sustaining the inner peace needed to carry us through the kinds of turmoil you speak of. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on poetry and peace.