Synchronicity is an odd thing.
I picked up a book on creativity, which spurred me to go ahead and get a book on writing poetry. And as I was flipping back and forth between the two (yes, I’m one of those readers) I kept asking myself – do these authors know each other? The books complemented each other so well, a joint book review seemed in order.
I’ll start with Carolyn Elliott’s book, Awaken Your Genius: A Seven Step Path to Freeing Your Creativity and Manifesting Your Dreams.
I nearly didn’t buy this book.
The cover turned me off. And there are tons of books out there on creativity. But I found some online, witchy-themed essays by the author, Carolyn Elliott, and was intrigued enough to buy the book. I’m glad I did.
Her process for expanding creativity is to change your perception of and relationship to the world through an expansion of love and desire. This is deep mysticism. And most of the exercises in her book involve writing, lending themselves particularly to authors (no surprise Carolyn is a poet).
I enjoyed the exercises, particularly the metta-cultivation, the development of a commonplace book, and the dreamspeak workings, where you write in the language of the subconscious. These are powerful exercises, and they require some deep thinking. This is a book to take your time over.
Throughout the book, Carolyn mentions the poetic self, dropping teases equating poetry and magic, poetry and the subconscious, and poetry as a side effect of the alchemical process of making the soul, connecting the conscious and subconscious.
But she doesn’t write much about how to write poetry, and I felt myself growing hungry to learn more about the poetical process. For a long time, I’ve suspected fiction writers can learn a lot from poetry, the way poems describe a moment in time, the intensity and vividness of the language. So I got my hands on Writing Poetry from the Inside Out by Sanford Lyne.
Again, this book has great, practical exercises. I was soon writing poems I felt good about. Lyne writes about the practical, structural aspects of poetry as well as the subconscious, magical flow of the poet.
But what blew me away about this book is that Lyne, too, appears to view poetry as a deep, soul-making process, quoting Blake, Mistral, Emerson. He describes writing poetry as deep inner work, honesty, insight, and refining the inner and outer vision (much like Carolyn Elliott).
These two books pair up in a strangely perfect way. Elliott’s describes how to move through that inner work, and Lyne describes how to take that work and transform it into poetry.
“Speech is our second possession, after the soul, and perhaps we have no other possession in this world.”
– Gabriella Mistral
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mysteries: the urban fantasy, The Metaphysical Detective, which focuses on the archetypes, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, The Elemental Detective, and The Hoodoo Detective.