The yoga of poetry
In her wonderful book, Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words,poet Kim Rosen writes about the different ways in which we can experience poetry–intellectually, emotionally, and even physiologically.
In a section of her book called “The Yoga of Poetry” she explains that the word yoga means, “to bind, join, attach and yoke, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply. It also means union or communion. It is the true union of our will with the will of God.”
Rosen, also a spoken-word artist, explains that memorizing a poem can be a yoking or union of ourselves with the larger meaning of the poem. She says that if we choose a poem we know will take us beyond our comfort zone, the yoga of joining our consciousness to the consciousness inherent in the words of the poem will stretch us from the inside out.
The words of the poem enter our body as well as our mind. She says, “It affects your lungs, your pulse, and the tones and textures of your voice.”
I know when I’ve written a really good poem because it has this same effect on me as I read it aloud. The words become a power source in themselves. They take me outside myself yet also deep within myself at the same time. The words become a form of energy.
Exercise: Memorize a poem this week that you know will stretch your comfort zone and write down how it makes you feel.