Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making
- Coulehan, Jack
- Date of entry: Jul-09-1999
Poetry is a natural medicine . . . Poetry helps us feel our lives rather than be numb. So begins John Fox, a Certified Poetry Therapist whose aim in this book is to help the reader see the profound relationship between creativity and healing, and to nudge the reader gently into making his or her own poems.
Fox grounds his work in narrative--stories of suffering persons who were able to transform their experience by writing poems. He illustrates the text with the poems of these persons, as well as those of well-known poets from King David to Lucille Clifton.
Fox carries the reader from the silence that leads to poetry (Chapter 1, "Heart, Who Will You Cry Out To?") through the elements that go into writing (Chapter 3, "Poetic Tools For Your Healing Journey") to writing about specific situations, such as illness, loss, and death (Chapter 6, "When God Sighs"). Each chapter includes a number of suggestions and exercises.
Poetic Medicine builds upon the stories and insights contained in John Fox's first book, Finding What You Didn't Lose (New York, Tarcher/Putnam, 1995). Fox is one of the leading figures in the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT), the certifying body for poetry therapists. The NAPT includes persons from various disciplinary backgrounds, including psychology, psychiatry, social work, and other professions.