Hero's Poetry Journey, week 14
RETURN: Return with Elixir (last stage!)
You did it, baby! You’ve completed the Hero’s Poetry Journey! Take a bow, pour a cup of tea, and settle in for one more poem.
Return with Elixir
Now that you have gone there and back again, you possess the elixir. You are Queen (or King) of two worlds. The elixir is curative. It turns metal into gold or grants long life or provides healing balm. One thing is certain — the elixir is meant to be shared.
Who needs this gift you bear?
In April I had the privilege of doing an art show called Crossroads that featured my poems alongside paintings by my friend Nan Henke. I can’t speak for Nan, but my creativity most often springs from a place of peace — often a peace hard-won.
As I review the poems I wrote to go with Nan’s paintings, many of them are about this journey of motherhood, even though I may not have said so directly. I can write slant about my children and myself — using a dragonfly, a hummingbird, a cypress tree. Often I don’t realize I’m doing it until the poem is there on the page.
When I feel angsty or desparing or rageful, I do need to write, but I usually cannot write a good poem. My better poems come from a place of peace. But whew, doggies! It can be an arduous journey to get there, to make that elixir.
“Peace” by Sara Teasdale
This is the second poem I learned by heart. I learned it on a fall trip to New Mexico and Colorado — states I’d visited umpteen times on family vacations, but never in their autumn glory. I made up motions to go with Teasdale’s poem, basically a series of seated cat-cow poses that shift with the rhymes. (Try it!) Reciting the poem this way literally bequeaths the elixir of peace.
It’s a peace I want to share, through my poetry. A peace not easily gained, but all the more treasured. My elixir is this very Substack, Poetry for Life.
Take a sip. Write a poem. Share.
Read Teasdale’s poem. Jot down what you notice, what you like, what you don’t, what questions you have, and at least one way in which the poem speaks to your soul.
Write a poem that describes peace as a place.
Read Teasdale's poem aloud. If there’s a single poem from our hero’s poetry journey I’d encourage your to memorize, it’s this one. No one writes beauty like Sara Teasdale.
Write your own haiku about this stage of your hero’s poetry journey. (Mine is at meganwillome.com.) If you like, email me what you write.
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Shhh! A poetry course is a’comin’! Registration is open at meganwillome.com. More Dave Malone poetry coming to Poetry for Life later this month, to get us ready to meet storms with words.