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April 25, 2011

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National Poetry Month, April 2011
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Comments

Ada Roelke

When I was in college many decades ago, I fancied I was able to write poetry until I came upon a small volume by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I can imagine how lovely it would be to hear Meryl Streep read those words.
Ada

Lynda Stilkey

Just the way you expressed your experience at the reunion was, as a whole, almost like being there! I can almost hear the reading...and am moved. Beautiful. Lynda

Will Provine

Steve, you are a wonderful writer. No wonder you appreciate a fine actor reading a profound poetry.

Deborah Pearce

I was stirred notably in my silent reading of that poem and felt the ache. Oh to have heard it as you did. Now you will have the memory to accompany you whenever you feel the ache of years and loves gone by. Deborah

Robert McDowell

Thank you, Steve, for sharing this beautiful recollection. I believe Everyone is born with a soul-poem, the prayer-song that tells each person's unique story and connects each of us to divinity. This is our hero’s journey, our poetry as spiritual practice. I call on my own poetry and the poetry of others in my daily spiritual practice because it’s the deepest conversation I can have with myself and with those who inhabit, as the Irish say, the unseen world next to this one. Along the way, I’m aware of how writing poetry, sharing poetry, and journaling enriches my family life, relationships, and work. I know how transformative and fun writing can be. It's accessible to everyone.

As the Poetry Mentor, I work with people every day who share their stories of poetry's healing power. A woman in her seventies told me recently how her husband has been staving off Alzheimer's by sharing a nightly poetry hour in which they read to each other. A man in his thirties told me that he and his wife repaired their marriage by writing poems to each other for 30 days. Such stories go on and on. We only have to open our hearts (and our right brains) to hear and experience them. Then we're living our soul-poem, our heroic journey.

Here is a poem of mine that suggests the territory one can cover in a poem, the discoveries we can make together.

So That’s It

We are all reflections of original catastrophe.
So the poor in spirit are dumbstruck
As a rabbit of inconceivable size
Is pulled by an even bigger hand
From a hat of limitless darkness.
So the unemployed go on and on,
Survivors of eons of random collisions;
So the loveless, wandering in their grief,
Imagine the sweet madness of tendrils
Shooting heavenward in an ecstasy of photosynthesis.
Who lives and who dies?
The cosmos breathes and stars are born, stars go out.
It takes forever as it happens in a heartbeat.
The miracle, I guess, is that the vast soul and puny soul
Are somehow like the centered rider on the trail
Amid solar wind, rubble, and debris,
Their course through chaos the only way home.

Steve Leveen

Dear Friends,

What lovely words--Ada, Lynda, Will, Deborah, thank you so much for sharing your feelings.

And Robert--wow! Your poem floors me. Again I'm punched out by poetry. And a visit to your website showed me that one of my favorite deep thinkers also loves your work--Jean Houston. So glad to find out about you and your fine work:

http://www.robertmcdowell.net/

I'm tweeting you next.

Best wishes to you all--and thanks for teaching me,

Steve

Haydn Reiss

Dear Steve,
Thank you for your personal story of feeling poetry's magic. I'm sure you know the line from William Carlos Williams, "It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." I have made a number of films that highlight what our poets and writers contribute to the common good. I'm working on a new project on global literacy and would very much like to send you a private email regarding. Regards, Haydn Reiss

Steve Leveen

Dear Haydn,

Of course. I'd love to hear from you in more detail. Our editor, Mim Harrison, will be in touch with you. Sounds exciting. All best, Steve

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