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Poetry is one of the most powerful forms of writing because it takes the English language, a language we believe we know, and transforms it. Suddenly the words do not sound the same or mean the same: the pattern of the sentences sound new and melodious. It is truly another language exclusively for the writer and the reader. No poem can be read in the same way, because the words mean something different to each of us. For this reason, many find poetry and elusive art form. However, the issue in understanding poetry lies in how you read poetry. Reading it logically results in an overall comprehension, rigid and unchanging. However, reading it emotionally allows the nuances and paradoxes to enter our understanding. Anyone who writes poetry can attest, you have to write it with an open heart. 

All poems are insights into the most intimate inner workings of the writer's mind and soul. To read it coldly and rationally would be shutting the door on the relationship that the writer is attempting to forge with you. Opening your heart to poetry is the only way to get fulfillment from it.

If you imagine poetry as a journey, you must be willing to trust the writer to guide you. Unwilling readers will never experience every part of the adventure in the same way open minded readers do. The journey may be filled with dead ends 
 and suffering or endless joy and happiness. And still, you go. You pick up the poem, you read, you listen, and you feel.

Excerpt from THE IMPORTANCE OF POETRY by Adeline Frecker (Odyssey)



At the moment I am in the midst of teaching some of my students about the power of ego and our fond attachment to thoughts. The American poet Dorothy Hunt knows a little about this. I invite you to settle the body with a couple of deep breaths and connect to the heart before you start to read.

We don’t read and write poetry because it is cute. We read and write
poetry because we are members of the human race.


Tendrils of Mind​

No matter how many words 
arise in your mind,
or how many places 
its musings travel;​

No matter how many 
thoughts or opinions 
it clings to,
how many attachments
to how many stories;​

No matter how many shoots
called projections or memories,
or how many judgments
it imagines are true;​

There is one single tendril
wound round all the others,
that must be unwound
if you want to be free;​

The last one to drop
is the one you most cherish,
the one that insists
its productions are real;​

The tendril that causes
all of your suffering?
The one that holds tightly 
to a thought called "me."

- Dorothy Hunt is the founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy,

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