Poetry and Healing

Often, I have used poetry as a means to heal. Something about reading words that paint a particular picture of life resonates with my heart and soul, quelling pain like nothing else will do.

Several poets have this ability for me - Edna St. Vincent Millay, for instance. Her poem, "Tavern," in which she writes about "grey-eyed people," always reminds me of Momma.

The last lines tell our story, "Aye, 'tis a curious fancy --/But all the good I know/Was taught me out of two grey eyes/A long time ago."

Tears well up in my eyes each time I read this poem. Not simply because Momma had grey eyes, but because it places Momma beside me in a way nothing else does. It is as if she is reading the words, again, with me...I can hear her and feel her presence. It is balm for my grief.

Perhaps it was because Momma was so sick that poetry was a passion for her; a passion she gave to me. I have often wondered if her doctors had been poets would she have received better care; would she have been "healed" of her illnesses; would she have found more joy in life?

Healing, as I have written before, takes many forms. It is not necessarily the absence of disease. More often than not, it is the ability to deal with a chronic illness in a way that allows the patient to find hope and joy and contentment, in spite of whatever is ravaging their body. Too often, medical practitioners concentrate their attention on "curing" (making free of disease) their patients. It is a futile practice. If, however, their attentions were given to "healing" (helping to bring harmony/balance to mind-body-spirit) I believe everyone would be better.

Not long ago, I came upon an extraordinary young poet. He is the quintessential healer, both with the beauty of his words and with the skill of his knowledge. He is a medical doctor, yet, he has not lost sight of the humanity of his patients, many of whom will never be "cured." However, in his own gifted manner, he brings them, and us as his readers, such great healing.

Poet/Healer - Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke

I invite all my readers to visit Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke's website, "The Soaring Impulse." Each entry is a poem unto itself. Indeed, his life is a poem of great impact; an epic yet to be complete; an epic which touches both heart and soul.

Healing and poetry have never had a better advocate.


Hi Linda,

Poetry heals the heart and the world. It touches us deeply in places that we don't realize exist until it squeezes us and makes us feel life.

Maithri is a beautiful soul who spreads his heart through love. He literally wears his heart on his sleeve and shares his love with the world.

Thanks for this post and may the poet in you live on.

Btw, my post is also on poetry.
Linda said…

Thank you for your words. I read your blog, also...

Ah, the Brownings...what beautiful music/poetry they made together.

Yes, Maithri is a blessing to us all. I hope someday we will all meet face to face...imagine what a lovefest that will be!!!

Anonymous said…
Hello Linda,

Yes it is amazing how poets can use their words to reach the deep place in us, and heal and soothe our souls.

I agree Maithri is a true healer who shares his love of life with all. His ability to stand with tenderness and deep caring in the midst of so much suffering as he encounters is truly remarkable.

Thanks for sharing so much beauty!
Linda said…
Dear Miruh,

Your words bring me such a wonderful feeling of joy.

I am thrilled to be able to share my passion with the world. To be able to do that and celebrate the Life and Passion of someone as amazing as our Maithri is a blessing.

Wishing you a beautifully poetic day.

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