Thursday, January 19, 2012

Healing via Poetry: Lasting Evidence, The Cure

I usually don't write poetry, but I wrote a quick poem yesterday. The words were running through my mind in class so I decided to jot them down. Shortly afterwards, my presentation group was assigned a specific chapter in our textbook, and as I was flipping through it, I came across the second poem. I included it here because I think it answers the questions I raise in my poem.

I sometimes get so hung up on trying to "get over it" and "get back to my old self" that I often lose track of what I really need to focus on - integrating my past experience into my life. When we run from traumatic experiences and try to minimize the effect they've had on us, we perpetuate feelings of having a broken self. We've been impacted in a huge way by something, and if we deny the implications of the experience on our lives, we are denying an important part of our Self. I think this notion is what the second poem is getting at.

Lasting Evidence

Staring down the drain
All evidence gone
All that's left
My soul you stained

Staring in the mirror
Who is this I see?
A shell of a person
Not the one I used to be

Nine years later
Will I ever be the same?
All evidence gone
Still I carry your shame

The Cure

We think we get over things.
We don't get over things
Or say, we get over the measles but not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
The things that become a part of our experience never 
become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to "get over" a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it.
Let the pain be pain, not in the hope that it will vanish
But in the faith that it will fit in.
Find its place in the shape of things
And be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape
And it will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That's what we're looking for.
Not the end of a thing, but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
Without obliterating (getting over) a single instant of it.

*As sited on pp. 178-179 in Holland, A. (2007). Counseling in Communication Disorders: A Wellness Perspective. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing, Inc.


  1. Well said! We can't run from it, we have to find a way to live with it.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed your poem. The last line was my favorite.
    Still I carry your shame.
    That is so true, you are carrying his shame, not your own shame.

    I agree we have to figure out a way to make our bad and good experiences a part of us, but do it in a positive way instead of the negative way that seems so natural to do. That's not an easy thing to do but it can be done.

    Thank you for sharing your poem.

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment. Writing poetry is new to me. I think I get the idea behind it now in that there really is something therapeutic about conveying an experience in just a few words. I really enjoy reading your poems whenever you post them. Thanks for the validation about the shame belonging to him, not me. It's always good to hear from someone else.

  3. B.T.W., I wanted to tell you something. Nothing you did was shameful, everything he did was shameful to him and his family.