Tuesday, October 9, 2012

[UPDATE] Poetry, Good For What Ails you . . .

In August I posted on William Sieghart and his anthology, Winning Words, Inspiring Poems for Everyday Life. I spoke of his poetry pharmacy and the prescriptions he dispensed.

Well . . . It seems the doctor is still practicing.

For National Poetry Day (UK), The Guardian had people write in (online) with their issues, and Seighart gave his prescriptions.

Here are a few:

DanHolloway; Man whose heart belongs to the neon and smog and broken streetlamps of the city finds himself stuck in the unending green of the country and needs a fix of home.

Dr Sieghart's remedy:

I feel for you, stuck in the miserable and boring countryside. I prescribe Sheenagh Pugh's What is This Road? It reminds you that your story never ends, that familiar and unfamiliar landscapes can always deliver new chapters. Keep in mind that the journey is irresistible.

What if this road, that has held no surprises
these many years, decided not to go
home after all…

Who wants to know
a story's end, or where a road will go?

Fixitgirl: I'm writing the dissertation for my Masters (on Foucault) while working a full-time job and it's driving me mad. Please prescribe me a poem to soothe me.

Dr Sieghart's remedy:
You need to pause. And breathe...deeply.
Try Leisure by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughts
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

DavidBench: I'm really tired this week and it's affecting my work. I just want to sleep...

Dr Sieghart's remedy:
Wendell Berry's The Peace of Wild Things will transport you to a tranquil place. Recite it slowly before bed.

I go and lie down where the wood drake
Rests in his beauty on the water…
I come into the presence of still water…
You can find it on page 168 of the Winning Words anthology.


  1. Those are good, even though he didn't have an exact prescription for what ails me!

    1. I'm thinking his book belongs on the shelf with the 'herbal remedy' book and the 'health food' book & the like. After all, our interior health is as important as our bodily health, no?