Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 35–37 | Cite as

Poetic Resources

  • Geri Giebel Chavis


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  1. Cowper, William. (1779; 1968). “Light Shining Out of Darkness.” Cowper Verse and Letters. Selected by Brian Spiller. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, (a poem of religious inspiration; provides affirmation of God’s presence, mercy and justice for those going through difficult times)Google Scholar
  2. Dickinson, Emily. (1890; 1961). “After great pain, a formal feeling comes.” Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson’s Poems. Ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Boston: Little Brown, (a powerfully sensory poem describing a painful reaction to loss)Google Scholar
  3. Dickinson, Emily. “I dreaded that first Robin, so.” Final Harvest: Emily Dickinsons Poems, (a poem reflecting fear of one’s own painful reaction to the signs of spring; ends on an affirmative note)Google Scholar
  4. Dickinson, Emily. “I’m Nobody! Who are You.” Final Harvest: Emily Dickinsons Poems. (A humorously defiant poem that helps facilitate a discussion of self-esteem and self-image)Google Scholar
  5. Frink, Susanna. (1983). “Low Grade Depression.” Pudding Magazine, Vol. 8. Columbus, OH: Ohio Poetry Therapy center, (tells of a housewife’s depression, her growing neglect of repetitive tasks that have ceased to be rewarding; captures feelings of loneliness and guilt)Google Scholar
  6. Frost, Robert. (1919; 1964). “The Road Not Taken.” Complete Poems of Robert Frost New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, (a poem to facilitate discussion of how we can actively pursue life’s possibilities)Google Scholar
  7. Henley, William Ernest. (1904; 1929). “Invictus.” British Poets of The Nineteenth Century. (Ed.) Curtis Hidden Page; (New Ed.) Stith Thompson. Chicago: Benjamin H. Sanborn & Co. (an inspiring poem affirming our capacity to control our own fate as we confront adversity)Google Scholar
  8. Holmberg, Fred Benton. (1974). “i.” Search the Silence: Poems of Self-Discovery. (Ed) Betsy Ryan. New York: Scholastic Book Service, (a poem about low selfesteem and the need to uncover our individual “beauty” and talent in the face of others’ expectations and superficial views of who we are)Google Scholar
  9. Kavanaugh, James. (1975). “Anger Leaks Out.” Sunshine Days And Foggy Nights. New York: E.P. Dutton, (a brief poem on the variety of ways anger indirectly manifests itself; a good poem to evoke discussion of anger and how we deal with it) Kavanaugh, James. “Sadness Is But A Part Of It All.” (a peaceful poem expressing acceptance of sadness and encouraging the reader to see that this acceptance involves believing that as the cold disappears, the warmth returns)Google Scholar
  10. Kavanaugh, James. “Sunshine Days Always Come Back.” (a poem about hope, one that acknowledges the very real existence of “foggy nights,” the times of confusion and darkness that seem permanent, but affirms a natural cycle in which “sunshine days” replace “foggy nights”)Google Scholar
  11. Kavanaugh, James. “Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights.: (a poem that affirms, in Whitm-anesque fashion, our capacity as humans to experience both joy and sorrow)Google Scholar
  12. Kottler, Dorian Brooks. (1979). “McDonald’s.” The Selby-Lake Bus. (Ed.) Margot Kriel. Mpls.: Lake Street Review Press, (captures the ways in which a woman deals with her feelings of emptiness)Google Scholar
  13. Lawrence, David Herbert. (1914; 1964). “Piano.” The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence. (Ed.) Vivian de Sola Pinto & Warren Roberts. New York: Viking, (a moving poem expressing a mixture of regret, joy and sorrow; shows how memories of the past affect our present mood and outlook)Google Scholar
  14. Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. (1941). “The Day Is Done.” The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, (a soothing, rhythmical poem that expresses the speaker’s sadness, longing, and belief in the therapeutic effects of heartfelt poetry)Google Scholar
  15. Oles, Carole. (1979). “The Loneliness Factor.” The Loneliness Factor. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech Press, (acknowledges the presence and reality of loneliness in all our lives)Google Scholar
  16. Ostriker, Alicia. (Jan., 1983). “Moth in April.” Poetry. Vols. 140–141. (a microscopic look at nature’s small creatures elicits reflections and sadness related to existential searching)Google Scholar
  17. Pastan, Linda. (1978). “Marks.” The Five Stages of Grief New York: Norton, (a good poem to facilitate a discussion of how others’ judgments and expectations affect us)Google Scholar
  18. Pastan, Linda. “Old Woman.” Five Stages of Grief, (focuses on how sadness visits us sometimes unexpectedly, how our grief wears disguises, and how we can confront our grief in a constructive, honest way)Google Scholar
  19. Pastan, Linda. “Self Portrait at 44.” Five Stages of Grief, (a tranquil poem about accepting one’s own imperfections without guilt)Google Scholar
  20. Roethke, Theodore. (1943; 1958). “Dolor.” The Collected Verse of Theodore Roethke: Words For the Wind. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. (captures feelings of apathy and boredom and the need to break out of deadening routines)Google Scholar
  21. Roethke, Theodore. “The Waking.” Collected Verse, (a reflective poem that gives us permission to find our way or make progress gradually without straining to know; also speaks of trusting yourself and your instincts)Google Scholar
  22. Sarton, May. (1980). “Beggar, Queen, and Ghosts.” Halfway to Silence: New Poems. New York: Norton, (speaks of the depressed state as “the place where I could not give of my store”; uses powerful active metaphors that have the potential to evoke a meaningful discussion of how one’s riches can lie buried)Google Scholar
  23. Sarton, May. “The Geese.” Halfway to Silence: New Poems, (a melancholy, vivid poem about the necessary losses we suffer)Google Scholar
  24. Stevens, Wallace. (1971). “The Snow Man.” The Palm at the End of the Mind, (Ed.) Holly Stevens. New York: Knopf, (captures a sombre state of mind; through vivid winter landscape imagery, the poet suggests how sadness brings with it a capacity to perceive winter beauty)Google Scholar
  25. Vodges, Natasha Lynne. (1980). “Snowbound.” Social Work, (a poem about the need to “refuel yourself,” to stop others from controlling your life and imposing their needs on you)Google Scholar
  26. Whitman, Walt. (1982). “Assurances.” Complete Poetry and Collected Prose. New York: Viking, (expresses faith in unseen benevolent forces in the universe)Google Scholar
  27. Yeats, William Butler. (1933; 1983). “The Sorrow of Love.” The Poems of W.B. Yeats. (Ed.) Richard J. Finnerman. New York: Macmillan, (a moving poem expressing the power of love and the power of sorrow)Google Scholar

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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1988

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  • Geri Giebel Chavis

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