She Walks In Beauty Through Words of Poetry & the Soundtrack of Life.

Via Melissa Smith
on Sep 23, 2011
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Photo: ZedZap...

While poetry ignites my creativity and reveals the beauty I often deny resides within me, music goes beyond the depth of words read or spoken.

Recently I was reintroduced to the power of poetry by the lovely Rose of Wild Rose Yoga in Chiang Mai, who often posts something that will encourage others along their journey. Poems of life by Mary Oliver; of vastness and oneness by Pablo Neruda; or of sensuality by Octavio Paz.

There can be no society without poetry, but society can never be realized as poetry, it is never poetic. Sometimes the two terms seek to break apart. They cannot.” ~ Octavio Paz, Nobel Prize winner

The book, She Walks in Beauty, contains poetry collected by Caroline Kennedy. Caroline talks about how a college professor challenged her with the question, “how to live a life”?

How do you live a life?

Turning to the poems, Leap Before You Look and To Be Of Use helped her find clarity and fierceness. For me, the poem by Lord Byron that inspired the title of her book, leapt out from the page into my heart.

 She walks in beauty, like the night

   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.


One shade the more, one ray the less,

   Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

   Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.


And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

   But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

   A heart whose love is innocent!

While poetry ignites my creativity and reveals the beauty I often deny resides within me, music goes beyond the depth of words read or spoken. I am a keeper of songs, having one for every occasion in my life. Every city or trip I take initiates a new playlist. My Thailand list which blared into my firmly implanted I pod headphones everywhere I went, had everything from Willie Nelson’s Uncloudy Days, Manu Chao’s Me Gustas Tu, Aloe Blacc’s You Make Smile, One EskimO’s Amazing, Girish’s Diamond’s In The Sun and The Belle Brigade’s Where Not to Look for Freedom. The theme centered around songs that made me happy. All them inspired by the incredible people I encountered and played with. Now, when I hear these songs, flashes of the smiles, laughs, classes and pure joy I felt beam from my memories.

Life, like movies, should have a soundtrack.

Right now, living a life means listening and moving in the direction of my heart without fear and with eyes, ears and mind wide open to the eloquent words of poetry and to the soundtrack of my life.

“You cannot find your wisdom in someone else’s story…. tell me where to look for freedom?” ~ Where Not to Look For Freedom

Another feel good song, make you want to whistle along song:


About Melissa Smith

Melissa is a freelance writer, zealous traveler, momma, and AcroThaiTherapeuticsYogaLifeStudentOccasionalTeacher. She leads advanced teacher trainings for Leeann Carey Yaapana Yoga, specializing Therapeutic Partner Practice and hosts retreats in Texas, Thailand & New Orleans for Grace Yoga Retreats. Connect with her on Facebook, her Grace Yoga Blog, and Twitter. or read other Elephant Journal articles.


5 Responses to “She Walks In Beauty Through Words of Poetry & the Soundtrack of Life.”

  1. Awesome!!! I hope you come present at our event….
    Keep writing.

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you!! : )

  3. Melissa says:

    Per request… Here's one of the playlists from teaching at Wild Rose Yoga Studio this summer in Thailand: From the Elephant Journal Article, (please read and comment on the EJ page, your fav songs… from the soundtrack of yoUr life). Enjoy!

    Green Quiet Mountain, Dean Evenson and Li Xiangting, At Ease 2 — lovely, great instrumental to start
    Narayana/For Your Love, Krishna Das, Yoga Revolution World– Krisna Das, need I say more?
    The Only One, The Black Keys, Brothers (Deluxe)- next best thing to their concert? Rocking Sun salutes to them
    One Day Like This, Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid- this song just makes me smile. it's that simple.
    The rest are listed here:

  4. Rosemary Bolivar says:

    Truth to That!!!!

    Thank You for this beautiful writing that resonates so deeply and reverberate within – drawing to that core of how
    the mincing of words and music create and become divine and uplifting and full of breathings of Inspiration and Joy,… keep on keeping and in the word of WW:

    Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. – William Wordsworth … & a song

  5. Melissa says:

    thanks sweet rose. love & light. always.