Finding the Right Poem


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Each poem has been selected by the Director of BridgeXngs Poetry Center for its therapeutic value.

Poems can be categorized by poetry therapists in many different ways. Typical methods include organizing poems by the main emotion that is conveyed by the poem, such as anger, fear, love etc. or by age group of client or by client's presenting problem.

Poems which I have used include the following:

"On His Blindness" by John Milton

"When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my day, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide...."

How do we each spend our light, which is a metaphor for our life and our life's energy. When a person is physically losing the ability to see one easily thinks about how that person spent her light, and it causes others to focus on how they are spending their light.

"Ecclesiastes," Anonymous

"To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted..."

We so often wish that things did not change the way they do. We often wish that we could hold on to everything that we cherish, and freeze time." The words from the Old Testament remind us how we all go through various stages in our lives, regardless of our wishes. Other poems give the message of holding tight to life and when the time comes letting go.

"If your everyday life seems poor..." by Rilke

"If your everyday life seems poor, don't
blame it; blame yourself; admit to
yourself that you are not enough of a poet
to call forth its riches; because for the
creator there is no poverty and no poor
indifferent place."

This sounds preachy, but nonetheless it is a reminder and a positive message. It stresses the importance of trying to find something to celebrate and be thankful for each day, regardless of the rigors of the day.