One Poem at a Time #poetry #poem

Can we change the world, one poem at a time?
The jury’s out on this, however
never underestimate the power of the Word

it has endured millenia, for bad or good
according to its use
What to believe? It’s up to you to choose:

this is not a polemical poem.

I’ve changed my life, one poem at a time:
in darkest times such words as soothed my soul
have healed me. In times of doubt, they have restored my faith:

the power of a simple line of poetry
has brought about a fundamental change 
in me, restoring inner light and harmony.

I’m not saying we can change the world,
but it’s high time we tried our level best
so do your worst:

pick up a pen to write, a book to read,
at least
to change your heart, at most to change the rest.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for dVerse

It is Open Link Night over at dVerse poets’ pub, and it’s also the first day of #NaPoWriMo, where many people take part in the challenge of writing a poem a day. I suppose I have a head start on this with my Twitter daily poetry challenge. But I’ve been thinking a lot about whether poetry can make positive changes in the world, especially as I work on The Anthropocene Hymnal.

I can’t answer this question one way or another, as I’ve said above. I do know that poetry has changed my life. Here are just a few examples of poems which have been life-changing for me:

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I’m sure you have your own life-changing poems. I would love if you shared them with me in the comments below. Let’s keep the poetry revolution going, one poem at a time…

58 thoughts on “One Poem at a Time #poetry #poem

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  1. Love this! I started writing poetry 6 years ago and have never looked back. Never thought it would be something I would do….but it has helped me through a lot of joy, sadness, tragedy, loss of friends, happiness with grandchildren etc. You’ve said it well here….and yes, as a communications person (my degrees and background) the power of the word is immense in all its forms.
    Enjoyed this post very much!

  2. The fact that poets and writers have been censored, shows their power.
    I can’t think of a particular poem right now, but just stopping to read a poem and think about it, can change one’s mind and feelings. And of course, writing does, too.

    1. That’s true about censorship. Thankfully we live in a society where we can share our words (more-or-less) without fear!

  3. This is absolutely exquisite! I agree, poetry indeed has the power to create a difference in the world. One syllable, one poem, one collection at a time. 💝💝 Especially resonate with; “I’ve changed my life, one poem at a time: in darkest times such words as soothed my soul.”

    1. I’m pleased you like those lines Sanaa, perhaps they were inspired by the song ‘Let it be:’ ‘And in my hour of darkness/she is standing right in front of me/speaking words of wisdom…’ ❤️

  4. A good question, Ingrid, and I believe we can change the world one poem at a time, at first individually and then as a community, as we are doing right now. I agree whole-heartedly with the lines:
    ‘I’ve changed my life, one poem at a time:
    in darkest times such words as soothed my soul
    have healed me’
    and
    ‘pick up a pen to write, a book to read,
    at least
    to change your heart, at most to change the rest’.

  5. I love that, most importantly, your poetry has changed you. In Jewish tradition, we say that every person is a world entire… So, yes, you have definitely changed more than one of those.

    -David

  6. If everyone did their tiny bit to be humble and kind, what a wonderful world it would be! Power of One!

  7. It would be wonderful if our words could impact the world in the right ways…although that leaves someone to determine what is right. I’d like to think poets are mostly (always) right. 🙂

  8. I think poetry can help us grow, and some poems can change hearts, but it’s a slow change and one hampered by the idea that poetry is something ‘academic’ and ‘difficult to understand’.

  9. Love the idea of changing the world a poem at a time, a line at a time, a word at a time! Reminded me of the great John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.

  10. this is an amazing poem Ingrid and I so love this line because I never intend to write poetry but I do, and I never think it’s that good but it’s the best I can do and this poem gives me so much freedom and liberty that when I hear them, tears steam down my face and I’m grateful to you.

    “I’m not saying we can change the world,
    but it’s high time we tried our level best
    so do your worst”:

    Thank you! 💖 Cindy

  11. All I can say is poetry changes the way I see the world.
    Your poem speaks to me. Yes, writing can change us and poems shift the ground beneath our feet when we get stuck. This is why I love to lead small writing circles. Thanks for sharing your wonderful words of possibility today.
    I look forward to celebrating this month of poetry with you.

  12. Such an inspiring poem. Loved these lines :-
    I’m not saying we can change the world,
    but it’s high time we tried our level best
    so do your worst:

    pick up a pen to write, a book to read,
    at least
    to change your heart, at most to change the rest.

  13. I think poetry is on the up. And the more people that read, the more lives that can be changed. Marketing it is the biggest issue.
    Loved your poem, will read the links a bit later.

    1. Thank you Jude. I think poetry needs to be made more accessible again. It has become the realm of a stuffy literary elite to the point that it fails to touch people’s hearts.

      1. It’s so hard to judge or grade poetry because it touches or does not touch all differently so I understand why the ‘elite’ would stick to certain criteria and yardsticks. But that being said, if it can reach the public, which is easier to do these days, then we can balance it out. Tradition with heart or either one of the two. It works all ways.

  14. Writing from the heart is very important for me. My favorite poet is Bishop. Reading other people’s poetry is difficult for me. I look for poems that touch my heart or mind and I try to write so that my poem touches me first, changes me first and continue to do so, than it is ready to sail the world. Thank you for your poems.

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