I then found the article, A poem a day by William Sieghart, about a talk he gave promoting a new anthology, Winning Words, Inspiring Poems for Everyday Life. Actually, it was about what he did after the talk to illustrate his point. The short article is quite interesting. Here are a few excerpts:
... I’ve been battling with the challenge of making poetry appear more relevant to people in their everyday lives. Battling because there is no doubt that most people find poetry intimidating. ...
Where have I heard that before?
... Following the talk I sat in the book tent with a couch beside me, offering to listen to people’s problems for ten minutes at a time and then prescribe them with the appropriate poem or poems for them to take away and inwardly digest or commit to memory as an alternative to a cocktail of pills or any other form of therapy currently in vogue.
... Nearly forty people had availed themselves of my poetry pharmacy. About a quarter of them had burst into tears with a complete stranger either in recounting their troubles or when I managed to prescribe appropriately and they found a poetic complicity for their troubles and at last felt understood.
... Suffice it to say it saddened me how, in a world of so much communication, supposedly made even easier by developments in technology, people seem as lonely and unsupported as ever. But and it’s a big but, the right poem at the right time could provide immeasurable sustenance. The emails I have had since prove it.
... Poetry in the right time and place can be a far better mantra for that tricky business of living than many more expensive or fashionable alternatives. I urge you to spread the word and look out for my future poetry surgeries. The Doctor is in.
So see . . .
as we embrace poetry, allow it to enrich our own lives, and share our insights with others, we are also bringing badly needed medicine to an ailing world.