“Poetry is the window into trauma, and into healing…” ~ Peter Levine, PhD
I was 13 when I opened a new black-and-white composition book and penned my first poem.
It was 1964.
Little did I know then that poetry would become my healer, my therapist, my place to shed tears, to love and be loved.
My journey into writing would start as it did, and does, for many of us. Being read to by our parents as we settled into our beds to fall asleep, awash in dreams of stories and places unseen.
We would learn to read and some of us would devour books, take walks alone to the library—our place of comfort. Diaries with brass clasps and small keys would be filled with thoughts about our days, as experienced as an eight-year-old.
For me, poetry became my passion, and later, I would add writing essays, reports for school, memos, and boring pieces for bosses with facts and figures. And poems, although less, sometimes made it to paper.
Journal writing would start in my late 20s and still exists. Its formats have changed greatly over the decades. Every year I read my journal, shred it, and let it go. Another year to start anew.
And then the poems started to resurface in my grey matter. Walking haikus that I released as I walked—a practice in the art of impermanence. Some made it home with me and got scribbled into my notebook. Some got typed and shared.
I am so pleased to see so many of my peers writing and sharing poetry. For many, it may be a new genre. For some of us, not so new.
I began to wonder why the sudden surge over the past year or two. Then the other day I listened to the talk between Gabor Maté and Peter Levine, PhD on trauma. Maté asked Levine why he so often writes poetry and his answer, noted above, lit through my brain cells. Flashing insights, releasing decades of stored memories. Not unlike the “issues in my tissues.” Thank you Bernie Clark for that one, and yes, my left hip has been sending me clear signals of past traumatic events.
I write poetry to smile, to feel love, to heal. And now I understand why I have been reading so many poems from so many peers. However, that is an assumption on my part, so I apologize.
Perhaps you will share with us the why of your writing a style that goes back thousands of years.