Introduction to writing poetry from the inside out
want to put a book in your hands that will help you find the poet inside you. I want it to be portable (poetry writing is the most portable of the arts) and instantly useful. I want it to be one that will produce a poem for you in five minutes, if that is all the time you have, and I want it to this even if you've never written a poem before. If you've written poems, I want it to call forth other poems still waiting to be written, surprise you with poems you didn't know were there. if the poetry inside you feels like it is a frozen river, I want this book to break up the ice and start the river moving again. And I absolutely want it to be a book that will be useful to your soul's journey and awakening, for writing poems and the soul's awakening are made to go hand in hand.
There are countless ways to discover and open up the poems waiting inside you. the book offers a beginning, a sure starting place. Since 1983, I've taught poetry writing to over fifty thousand young people and to several thousand teachers in public and private schools. In corporate, conference, and retreat settings, I've taught poetry writing to people from many walks of life, including architects, executives, managers, editors, accountants, government workers, health care professionals, engineers, salespeople, entrepreneurs, human resource professionals, psychologists, therapists, homemakers, spiritual seekers, clergy, and church groups. this book focuses on simple and expandable approaches that worked across the board for all these diverse groups of people. They work, I believe, because they are grounded in the very design of who we are as multidimensional beings, as human and spiritual beings living and gaining experience here in the classroom of the material world.
The primary approaches presented here are simple and direct, practical and economical, never complicated or grand; they are approaches that cut the Gordian knots of our overactive minds. So many times people have said to me, “This is so simple. I might have thought of this myself.” Because poetry writing had added so much to my own journey― and perhaps because my gratitude for this was deep and genuine― I found myself increasingly in a position to make it available to others. I wanted others to experience poems as “fingerprints of their souls,” for that is what poems are― signs of our humanity, our diversity, and our uniqueness, born of our own process as individuals, no two people writing truly honest and authentic poems the same way. The Nobel poet and educator, Gabriela Mistral of Chile, wrote: Speech is our second possession, after the soul― and perhaps we have no other possession in this world. If there is truth in what Mistral says, then not to speak, not to find and express our own voice, is to give up half of our inheritance, to live a half-life. That is too much to lose.
© The Estate of Sandford Lyne