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The Poetry Pharmacy
The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Mind, Heart and Soul | William Sieghart
14 posts | 3 read | 4 to read
'Truly a marvellous collection ... There is balm for the soul, fire for the belly, a cooling compress for the fevered brow, solace for the wounded, an arm around the lonely shoulder - the whole collection is a matchless compound of hug, tonic and kiss' Stephen Fry Sometimes only a poem will do. These poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice offer comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realization - I'm not the only one who feels like this. In the years since he first had the idea of prescribing short, powerful poems for all manner of spiritual ailments, William Sieghart has taken his Poetry Pharmacy around the length and breadth of Britain, into the pages of the Guardian, onto BBC Radio 4 and onto the television, honing his prescriptions all the time. This pocket-sized book presents the most essential poems in his dispensary: those which, again and again, have really shown themselves to work. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain. 'The book is delightful; it rightly resituates poetry in relation to its biggest and most serious task: helping us to live and die well' Alain de Botton
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merelybookish
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This is cool! There's a Kickstarter campaign to open a poetry pharmacy. If you donate a certain amount, they'll give you a prescription. 🙂
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1245541163/the-worlds-first-poetry-pharmacy

readordierachel What a fantastic idea! 3w
56 likes1 comment
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GlassAsDiamonds
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I would like to say I was paying attention to the poetry (they were reading Wendell Berry‘s The Peace of Wild Things which is a lovey, amazing poem you should all google).... but I wasn‘t. I was watching the squirrels on the green cross beam run across and fall into the “beam” which is basically a fabric barrel. 😂 Squirrels in this photo are on the top of the green just to the left of the center line & most of the bulges in the bottom of it! 😂😂

Lauram Your photos of these colorful fabric tents are beautiful! 4mo
GlassAsDiamonds @Lauram thank you!!! They make it easy because they‘re stunning (but a tad chilly towards the end of the day!!!) 😊😊😊😊😊 There are four tents and one painted hall at the festival. 4mo
23 likes2 comments
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Bookwomble
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"A well chosen anthology is a complete dispensary of medicine for the more common mental disorders, and may be used as much for prevention as cure."

Although not include in the Poetry Pharmacy, this quote by Robert Graves seems to sum it up well.

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Bookwomble
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Pickpick

I'm unsure how seriously Sieghart takes his idea of prescribing "pills" of poetry as if they would have a predictable effect on different people. I'd disagree with him if that's his position, however, in a society adhering to a Western medical-model of health and wellbeing, his pharmacy concept may be a gateway for engagement with poetry, and for finding a reflective space in which people can better understand the wellsprings of their distress.

DivineDiana I like this idea!❤️ 13mo
Bookwomble @DivineDiana It was an enjoyable read as Sieghart has chosen some excellent poems to work with, some old favourites (e.g., Tolkien and Gibran) and some new to me. Although I don't subscribe to the diagnosis and medicalisation of emotional distress, this is an interesting framework by which to introduce people to the benefits of reading poetry ☺ 13mo
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Bookwomble
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It happens all the time in heaven,
And some day

It will begin to happen
Again on earth -

That men and women who are married,
And men and men who are
Lovers,

And women and women
Who give each other
Light,
Often will get down on their knees

And while so tenderly
Holding their lover's hand,

With tears in their eyes,
Will sincerely speak, saying,

'My dear,
How can I be more loving to you;

How can I be more
Kind?”

- Hafez

Bookwomble Love and kindness - it should really be that simple ☺ 13mo
6 likes2 comments
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Bookwomble
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There is a small, wide-eyed animal within each of us that doesn't understand why we keep kicking it. All we need to do to overcome is to treat ourselves like a loyal pet: with love, forgiveness and understanding.

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Bookwomble
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Although the wind
blows terribly here,
The moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.

- "Although the wind" by Izumi Shikibu. Prescribed for psychological scarring, emotional baggage, feelings of brokenness, cynicism, fear of vulnerability, and self-isolation

RaimeyGallant Lovely. 13mo
7 likes1 comment
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Bookwomble
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A brighter day to be reading 😊

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Bookwomble
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A grey day, and feeling grey myself. Hopefully, this book will be the tonic I'm looking for.

Nute May you be uplifted today and every day! 13mo
Bookwomble @Nute Thanks, Kimberley. Today's a brighter one in all senses ☺ 13mo
7 likes2 comments
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Heideschrampf
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Met a Starship Captain, met a Grand Witch, met a Poetic Pharmacist. What a night!

AmyG Wow! 1y
Soubhiville So cool! 1y
GripLitGrl Wow fun night!😎 1y
Elle_Skeldon 😍😍😍 1y
Chelleo Cool! 1y
59 likes5 comments
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Heideschrampf
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Pickpick

Went to an 'Intelligence Squared' event called THE POWER OF POETRY tonight, with actors Jason Isaacs, Helena Bonham Carter, Sue Perkins and Tom Burke reading poems from William Sieghart's new collection THE POETRY PHARMACY, chaired by BBC journalist Sarah Montague und 'additional commentator' Jaenette Winterson 😍 Oh my, fangirlong hard!

Andrea4 Wow!!! 1y
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scripturient
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The lovely Helena Bonham Carter and handsome Jason Isaacs reciting poetry at tonight‘s The Power of Poetry event. 😍😍😍

ErinSueGreads She is amazing. I would love to meet her. So jealous! 1y
TrishB That looks fab 👍🏻 1y
jhod Brilliant! 1y
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Cathythoughts I love her ❤️. Looks like a great place to be 1y
vkois88 Ahhhhh!! I'm so jealous! That's incredible 1y
DivineDiana Wow! Fantastic! 1y
pilardib Awesome!!!! 😱 1y
Robothugs 😱😱 The envy is real over here!!! That‘s so amazing! Thank you for sharing! 1y
Tanisha_A Helena, wow! What a great actress! 1y
4thhouseontheleft Omg!! 😍😍😍 1y
145 likes10 comments
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scripturient
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So who‘s gonna see Sieghart in conversation with Jeanette Winterson tomorrow, including a poetry performance by Jason Isaacs and Helena Bonham-Carter et al? Me me me! 😁 Thank you, @Heideschrampf , for drawing our attention to this. Looking forward to it! 😍

saresmoore WHAT. Holy crap, this is amazing! @vivastory I‘m tagging you so you can drool with jealousy. 🤤 1y
scripturient If any London Littens want to join us, there are still tickets available. 😊 1y
vivastory That's amazing @saresmoore I'm definitely drooling with jealousy 1y
See All 17 Comments
Heideschrampf My london-based friend bibi sent me the link! I'm glad we'll have a half-way edbookfest revival ;) though i have to admit i'm just as excited to see HBC and a real star trek captain 🖖 1y
julesG @Heideschrampf Could either, or both, of you try to get me an autograph from Captain Lorca for my little Trekkie Emma? Just in case you get close enough. 1y
tif 😲😲😲 1y
minkyb ❣️❣️❣️ 1y
DrexEdit Very cool! 👍 1y
Dragon That is totally cool 😎 1y
scripturient @julesG Will try. :) 1y
julesG BTW, she's fully aware that Jason Isaacs played Lucius Malfoy, but, since he was the baddie, she's ignoring this. She only watched half of episode 8 of ST Discovery with me and decided that Michael and the Captain are way cooler than Kirk and Spock.😱 1y
Mamalala13 Jealous! Have fun though! I would love to meet Helena Bonham-Carter one day... *Dozes off in daydream* 1y
Heideschrampf @Mamalala13 she was just how you'd expect: wearing a tartan blanket as skirt, carrying her purse a bottle of "anti gloom potion" in a pharmacist's bottle (with a message in it, a crafty thing one of her friends made), and really enganged with most of the people coming to talk to her (except us, because she had to leave) 1y
Heideschrampf @julesG sorry, it didn't quite work! We were the last in line to see him and HBC and they were basically already leaving, getting up and putting on their coats. 1y
Heideschrampf He was super nice, though! Very very kind and attentive and soooooo charismatic! 1y
julesG That's a shame, but can't be helped. Thanks for giving it a try. 😘 1y
73 likes17 comments
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RobinGustafson
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“I wish that I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being. This tiny poem”

written by the 14th century Persian Sufi poet Hafiz

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