This email was a message offering hope to people coping with challenging times
The email "gift" came from the staff of the Academy of American Poets with links to a collection of poems specially selected for Times of Turmoil.
It arrived with a note from the Executive Director, Academy of American Poets, Tree Swenson, who offered these comforting words:
We seem to be able to do so little against the loss and fear and panic. Yet poetry’s realm is precisely here — in the emotional center, where desire and terror and hope and dread converge without easy answers.Poetry to Help During Challenging Times
I have been a long-time supporter of the use of poetry to help in challenging times, particularly to help with the grieving process. As I noted in this earlier blog post, Poetry - To Help You Make it Through
Poetry can help us realize we are not alone or unique in our grief or desolation. Someone else has lived through these intense emotions, felt what I am feeling and survived. I am not alone in these feelings of grief.Executive Director, Academy of American Poets, Tree Swenson also noted that "Poetry can provide solace, give voice to despair, restore optimism, or simply remind us of our common connection through words."
William Faulkner said in his Nobel speech,
"The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail."Poetry Therapist John Fox so explains the beneficial effects of poetry:
Poems speak to us when nothing else will. Poetry helps us to feel our lives rather than be numb. Poem making helps us move through grief, life transitions and illness by providing comfort and sustenance on this difficult journey.Poems for Turmoil - The Collection
I couldn't find the list of poems yet on the Academy of American Poets, so I have included the list with links to the site below.
- The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less by Gerard Manley Hopkins
- blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton
- Identity Crisis by F. D. Reeves
- O Little Root of a Dream by Paul Celan translated by Heather McHugh
- Chaplinesque by Hart Crane
- Thing by Rae Armantrout
- O Me! O Life! by Walt Whitman
- In a Country by Larry Levis
- Poet's Work by Lorine Niedecker