When Poetry Becomes Part Of Your Soul

People’s reaction to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. They either love it or hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul. — Edward Lewis, Pretty Woman.

I think the same thing can be said about poetry, and I admit that  for me poetry is an acquired taste. It doesn’t run in my blood or is a part of my soul like my gifted poet friends, Anne and Roger. My book club is reading the collected stories of William Faulkner and our discussion leader often reminds us that Faulkner often referred to himself as a failed poet. One of the highest compliments anyone ever paid me is she described me as “a poet in a football player’s body.” I wish it were true. And then there is our friend Tom, a poet himself, and the man who treated us to and introduced us to the poetry of the Sufi mystic, Rumi.

So why bring up poetry today? Wordsworth described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings recollected in moments of tranquility.” Meditation and prayer are such “moments of tranquility.” We sometime are under the false impression that meditation and prayer are not about feelings and emotion, but at times the opposite occurs. We experience a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”

It is then we realize in a very and unique way that we not only can be, but are — “Poets creating poetry” in its most wonderful sense. There is a little bit of poet and mystic in each us waiting to be released on the world. Not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. He is also a contributor to The Clyde Fitch Report.

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