Friday, February 10, 2012

Group Poetry

Twice a month I attend a group poetry therapy session. I know what you are thinking, poetry therapy? In a group setting?

Basically we come together and with the help of a facilitator we write poetry. The prompts are poems that we are given to open up our writing brain. It is a pretty amazing experience.
At the last meeting our facilitator gave us a poem by Leonard Nathan entitled So? It is a poem about accepting who you are not and who you will never become but also about who you are. We were encouraged to write our own version by following the format of his poem. It is admittance of your weaknesses, the shortcomings that you have imposed on yourself. But also the acceptance of your strengths.

And it was liberating. I encourage you to do the same. Who have you always aspired to be? What have you hoped to do but know it is impossible? By writing my version of this poem, I let go some of those dreams and accepted who I am right now.

So?                                                                             So?
Leonard Nathan                                                       Regina Gort

So you aren't Tolstoy or Saint Francis                   So you aren't Jacques Cousteau or Mary Oliver
or even a well-known singer                                  or even the Queen of England,
of popular songs and will never read Greek            will probably never again read Tolstoy or
or speak French fluently,                                     speak Japanese fluently.
will never see something no one else                    You will never fly to the moon or discover
has seen before through a lens                             the missing link.
or with the naked eye.                                         You have been given the ability to love and   
You've been given just one life                              receive love.
in this world that matters                                     and more than that you can look yourself     
and upon which every other life                            straight in the eye
somehow depends as long as you live,                 and honestly say that you matter.
and also given the costly gifts of hunger,
choice, and pain with which to raise
a modest shrine of meaning.

Regina Gort


  1. This is truly beautiful. I'm going to write my version soon. Once again you have inspired me, Gina (with a tip of the hat to Leonard Nathan).

  2. Oh, I like, like, like that ALOT! Thanks for helping me find a writing prompt for tomorrow morning!

  3. You, my love, definitely matter!

  4. I do believe in the therapeutic value of poetry and love what you have shared here. What a wonderful way to open oneself. Thank you.