Read poetry to build creative confidence – Day 30

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Read poetry to build creative confidence – Day 30

Were you terrified by poetry in high school? Did college English classes send you screaming for help? Perhaps you remember trying to decipher a sonnet by Shakespeare or understand Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? I am here to encourage you to try again. Poetry isn’t something to avoid or be afraid of. There is something about reading poetry as an adult that is completely different than reading it at 13 or even 21.

I have always been a lover of poetry. My dissertation is on Chilean poetry so you might think I have an unfair advantage or am twisted in some way – a total poetry geek. Yep, that’s me and proud of it. I love to read poetry and would rather receive a complete anthology of Robert Blake for my birthday than flowers. I still find Shakespeare’s sonnets obscure and prefer Latin American poets and ancient mystics like Mirabai and Rumi.

What I love about poetry is that it takes me by surprise, reminds me to breathe and inspires me to create. I love to illustrate poems. I write them in my journal and use them as writing prompts. I incorporate poetry into many of my journaling and creative programs, it often helps to set the mood and to open people to the possibility of their own creativity.

Lesson 30 for building creative confidence: read a poem

Today I am sharing a lovely poem with you by Kenneth W. Collier, a retired Unitarian Universalist minister.

The Black Cat

We try to find a silent black catin an empty, dark room. We blindfold ourselves –
maybe blindness will help us see in the dark.
We grope madly this way and that and finally
Declare with conviction, there is no cat.

Then we sit, still and silent,
and the black cat crawls into our lap and purrs.


  1. Read the poem silently and then read it out loud. Read it again, savor it.
  2. Take out your journal – write the poem in your journal.
  3. Add some doodles or illustrations or even collage.
  4. Now write about the poem. What’s behind the words? Is it really about a cat? Where in your life are you seeking a black cat in a dark room and would benefit from allowing the cat to find you?

Rinse, lather, repeat. The internet is a veritable treasure trove of poetry. I encourage you to create a poetry-reading practice. Daily may be too much, how about weekly? Give it a try and see what changes. Poetry has the power to transform our lives if we will allow it?

If you feel like you are struggling alone in the dark, spinning, overwhelmed and exhausted, I can help. I specialize in helping individuals stop the chasing and start allowing your life to find you. Ready to change your life? Schedule a free discovery session with me today. It’s time to get your life back.


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1 Comment

  1. Penny McDaniel on August 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Former English teacher here! My students used to be so afraid of poetry, until I started doing creative writing exercises with them to bring out the poets within. This is a wonderful exercise you’ve posted!

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