Poetry can Heal

April is National Poetry Month. Did you know that psychologists and researchers have found a connection between reading or writing poetry and emotional healing?

Poetry is an opportunity for people to self-reflect, grow, and connect with their innermost feelings, fears, sorrows and other deep emotions. Poetry also connects people to those who have similar experiences.

Saint Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Aquinas were both gifted poets, writing some of the worlds most beautiful and faithful poems and prayers to celebrate Jesus Christ and the faith. The Holy Bible contains whole books written in poetry, such as Song of Songs. In fact, as much as a third of the old testament is considered to be written in poetry.

It is no wonder then, why my own heart and soul is drawn to poetry, especially in times of despair, sadness, or seasons of desolation.

For the month of April, I will be sharing never before published poems that directly aided in my own healing. The first is a poem that was written while I sat on the porch of my father’s home, overlooking a vast valley of farm fields. The morning was just dawning and coyotes and dear were emerging and retreating into the forest. The farm belonged first to my grandfather, then my father, and will one day belong to one of my brothers, God willing. Now that the scene is set, and you can imagine a quiet valley kissed by fog and sun, please enjoy “The Death Generation,” by Elizabeth Gillette

The Death Generation

Memories of great generations past,

Scattered here and there,

Faded grey and yellow,

Still proud where they lay.

Copies of them yet somehow distorted,

Not knowing where they fail,

And yet,

For a moment all is forgotten

As the valley remembers.

Before hostilities, before failure,

Before death and the disturbed complacency

Of choice and moral dilution.

For a moment, the valley hides our embarrassment

Behind thick fog that quiets the howls

Of the faithful

And the living are lulled to sleep with the rocking

lope of a coyote,

ignorant that the unchosen will never see it.

The breath of drowsy horses,

Snorting as they graze, thankful for the son

That warms their mourning,

And backs that will never carry the lost.

Every spring a set of twins,

Whose innocence redeems for a moment

our sadness in humanity.

Yet a reminder of our sorrow

In black spots upon their backs.

And the past looks upon our fields,

And wonders why we left them,

why we walk away from each other,

to abandon what they fought to give us.

So for a moment we revel in this silence,

We forgive for a moment,

And hide in this hushed dew filled morning,

Watching the innocent redeem us,

Our shame forgotten,

If only for

A moment.

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