Poetry on Prescription

Poetry is powerful stuff. When words are well put together they describe sentiments that go right to the centre of our hearts and souls. However, poetry’s ‘image’ is not as strong as it once was – in comparison to its past glory, the term poetry generally evokes apologetic smiles with a “not my cup of tea” expression.

William Sieghart at St John's Wood Library, June 2013
This is why William Sieghart, founder of National Poetry Day and the Forward Prizes for Poetry, is on a mission to give poetry back its rightful place.

Firstly, poetry is more popular than we think. Mr Sieghart points out that “In terms of young people the [poetry] scene is really happening, there’s masses of brilliant performance poetry, masses of rap, poetry fits very well with mobile technology because it’s about being concise – you can almost fit a haiku into a tweet.”

Secondly, poetry can work as therapy. Poetry has the power to heal us, to give us back strength since the words express so concisely how we feel and what we are thinking. It is therefore a matter of matching the right poems with the right heart and our guest, with his knowledge of poetry, worked wonders!

Winning Words: Inspiring Poems for Everyday Life, by William SieghartWilliam Sieghart visited St John’s Wood Library last Tuesday, 18 June. It was a full house, so after a brief but poignant presentation, he met individually with members of the public and prescribed them a poem that matched their sentiments. There were sparks in people’s eyes and, as predicted by Mr Sieghart, a few tears too.
Poetry is powerful stuff.



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