The Power of Poetry

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The Power of Poetry

This September I’ll be returning to Florida for what will be a very special few weeks. In collaboration with the Florida Agencies Serving the Blind, the Conklin Davis Center for the Visually Impaired and a new non for profit Let’s Get ArtSEE, I’ll be giving several very special poetry workshops. But why poetry?

There are so many people who don’t enjoy poetry, yet every person who has attended my events have walked away with a different perspective.  I’ve spoken to so many people who’ve told me that when they first heard about me and my work they thought “A blind poet, that doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy.”.  But quickly they’ve discovered it’s so much more than “just poetry”.  

I always said that poetry is like music, it has the power to make people feel things in ways that few things can. We’ve all turned to music during dark times in our lives, whether it be a broken heart or losing a loved one. Music can help us heal and the stories that song writers tell us can become the inspiration to overcome anything.  Spoken word with rhythm, like rap music, allows the writer to bring others into their world to create an understanding and emotion of empathy. Poetry has that same impact.

When I started slowly going blind, I chose poetry and music as a way for me to come to terms with what was happening to me and my family.  I soon began receiving messages from people around the world telling me how they were able to relate to my words, and that they were using them to explain to others how they were feeling.  That is when I truly understood the power of poetry and it gave me back the purpose, I thought I’d lost to blindness. 

Since I started these poetry workshops, I’ve seen first-hand how people of all ages have responded. I’ve had groups of children who have never written poetry before talking about things they’ve rarely expressed to others. I recently had a young boy in one of my sessions writing about his autism, another about the recent passing of a grandparent. The simple method I use frees up those with me to allow them to write from the heart and when we write from the heart, the words we create are powerful. 

I will be at a location near you in the coming weeks come along even if it’s just to say hi. But I promise you all those that attend these events will experience something that can truly make a difference.

This Poets Pen

When I picked up this poets pen to share with you my heart 

I promised I’d be honest bare my soul right from the start

I’d talk of good and bad eye days in hope you could relate 

and see that just like me that blindness will not be your fate 

This poetry that spills from me has healed the scars of old

Enabled me to speak of times I’m weak my story told 

How years before RP the me you see right here today 

spent years without a home sometimes I wished my life away

I bare the scars of razors edge and ledge where I once stood

looking at the ground fighting the voice that said I should

But every time somehow, I stopped myself from giving in

Determined that one day I’d find a life that could begin

It’s memories from days like these that show me I can cope

and even in the darkest hours somewhere out there, there’s hope

So, when tomorrow tests me with another time of stress

I won’t focus on anxiety that in time grows less and less

Instead remember that the embers of the fire inside my soul

will grow again through poets pen, add another piece of coal 

These verses give me purpose another reason to be here

and despite tomorrow’s curses, through them all, I’ll feel no fear

So, when you find yourself feeling the price your vision pay

I hope this poems message is what you needed today.