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World Poetry Day 2019

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

Today is World Poetry Day and because I love poetry, whether writing my own or reciting Shakespeare to myself when blissed out with the beauty of nature surrounding me or the smiles of my children touching my heart, poetry is beautiful to me, elevating my spirits, lifting and lightening my heart.

In a fast paced society, poetry can easily be missed and we often nowadays don’t have the patience to find the beauty in words, the weaving of images in the mind when video posts do the work for us. So why should be stop, breathe and enjoy poetry when it’s not our first passion? What is so special about poetry that the world needs more of it again?

The simple, straight forward answer is that poetry is good for the brain function. It triggers responses in different parts of the brain than a video or even reading a normal text does. In this way, our thought processes become more holistically integrative of information we receive, our overall intelligence is heightened and more synapses are formed in the brain.

Poetry makes you more intelligent. It helps you to process more complex concepts, integrating it more fully than would otherwise be the case. It helps us to build new pathways of thinking and supports problem solving skills, as well as giving us an overall boost of happiness.

Yes, poetry makes happy, even if you’re not aware of it. It heightens your overall feeling of wellbeing and helps you develop a more positive and optimistic mental attitude and outlook on life. It shifts perception. But apart from the neurological and psychological benefits, also enhancing your understanding of language at the same time, it is a beautiful way of expressing emotions, experiences and thoughts.

William Shakespeare, the most famous British poet of all time told his love that he sees the object of his love as more beautiful and perfect than nature itself in his sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German poet, liked his beloved to a flower and said he would rather dig it out and plant it in his garden, than pick it, condemning it to wither and die in his poem “Found.”

But it is not only the old poets that bring such delight to the senses. Modern poetry is on the rise and poets should certainly be encouraged, as should all creativity. My own poem I wrote for my daughter Tarjani, “The Beauty of a Rose” (see below) which can be found besides 172 other spiritual poems in my book My Spirit Song is a testimony to the love and reverence that can be felt – and expressed – in a mother’s love for her child. Seeing her daughter’s greatest potential, the shining glory of her soul is inspirational for more than this one particular girl.

So for all the reasons above and, doubtlessly, so many more (further reading links below), it is important to retain poetry as part of our lives, indeed, as part of our selfcare routine for mind, heart and soul.

The Beauty of a Rose

for my beloved daughter Tarjani

Graceful and delicate

Your beauty reaches up to heaven

Finely chiselled features

Framed by a halo of waves

Cascading down over your shoulders

Your smile is that

Of a blossoming rose

Graceful, opulent

Radiant and bright

And oh, those moments

When your arms encircle me

In a tender loving gesture

Of deepest affection and trust

Smaller children adore you

You only need to cast one smile

And they flock around your legs

Gravitating towards

The pull of love

That was only meant for them

To grow, to trust

To learn, to play

When music plays

Your body moves

Jiggles, weaves

Hops and spins

To the rhythm of that primeval drum

Which beats to the breath of life

Your movement

In perfect synchronicity

With life’s rhythm

Accelerates my pulse

As my heart expands

In wondrous love

At the beauty of your flow

Such is your beauty

Inside and out

Like a flourishing rose

Growing into maturity

In summer’s sunlight

Delicate yet strong

Gentle yet radiant

Flamboyant yet humble

Loving and intelligent

Do you know how much I adore you?

Do you really deeply listen

To the whispers of your own heart?

Are you truly aware

Of your own innate divine glory

In its entirety

In its whole power?

You have got the strongest foundation

To catapult yourself off from

To fly amongst the stars

To soar towards the sun

Your own glorious power

And the love of your mother

(©Tirza Schaefer, 14th August 2015)

Further Reading on the Neurological Effects of Reading Poetry

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