Earlier this month I shared a piece of poetry in my second ever vlog, in which I set my intentions for the year ahead. One of these intentions was to share more poetry.
As I sat down today to write my blog, I looked at my notes. I had planned to write something on writing to create real connection. I had scribbled down some notes on understanding your audience, actually caring about them and how they want to feel before even beginning to craft your message (this is why I prefer to work with smaller, heart-centred businesses)… But then my mind wandered. I probably will write that post someday but today is not that day.
Having set my intention to write and share more poetry, this has been on my mind more and more. I have written some new poetry but nothing share-worthy so far this year. I was looking through other poems and books for inspiration and was reminded of how many different ways I use poetry – in my coaching work as well as commissioned pieces for business and personal use – and why it is such a powerful medium.
There is something about poetry that bypasses the conscious mind. So often, things we know but perhaps are not ready to admit or confront, we shut down using intellectual arguments. But as Lewis, Amini and Lannon, authors of A General Theory of Love (a fascinating book on the science of human emotions) say,
“Where intellect and emotion clash, the heart often has the greater wisdom.”
So, for those who are open to it, poetry can be the quickest way to speak directly to that inner wisdom. It tricks the conscious mind with its pretty metaphors and slips in discreetly, so that emotions are stirred before you even begin to really process the what the words mean.
Words, say Lewis, Amini and Lannon, can only be understood by the neocortical brain, the most recent brain in terms of evolution and the only one that can process the abstract… But it is the earlier limbic brain – the brain responsible for communication and emotional connection – to which poetry speaks.
This is well illustrated by a comment on the poem I shared in my last blog, in which Alice from The Filling Glass said “You said so many interesting things here I couldn’t take it all in”. I’ve also had people say, “I have no idea what you said but I feel good”! And there are so many lines I’ve heard and read – too many to list here, and many of which I cannot fully recall, that have moved me in ways that reason cannot explain. What I remember is the feeling. It’s a knowing, an understanding, a realisation, an acceptance. It starts in my chest and rises, often spilling over as my eyes fill with emotion.
This is why I my love affair with words will always begin and end with poetry. It’s why I started writing and no matter what else I am writing, it is still Why I Write.
What are your thoughts on poetry? Do you like it? Does it move you in the ways I’ve described or does it leave you cold? I’d love to know your thoughts so please do leave a comment below!