April Community Theme: Use of Poetry in Therapy


Using poetry is a soul soothing process that is hard to explain. You have to experience it for yourself. Throughout the month of April on Instagram, I will be showcasing poetry in ways you can use with yourself and others to regulate your emotions, express yourself, gather your thoughts, and get some energy out.

For today, I would like for you to try to recite a poem, and rehearse it. Rehearse it to the point you begin to feel as if you are the character in the poem/story. Think about the following when you are reciting the poem for maximum benefit.

  1. Who is telling the story? Is it a person, animal, or other entity?
  2. What do they feel as they tell it?
  3. What are they doing in the poem? Can you act that out?
  4. How can you use the five senses while reciting the poem (for example: are they holding sand, what does it feel like and how would you play with sand as you say the lines.).
  5. Can you recite the poem with a different mood? Use your vocal range and play around with it.

Today I used Edgar Allen Poe’s Dream Within A Dream. You can use this poem for your exercise, or find something that resonates with you.

Edgar Allen Poe

A Dream Within A Dream”

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep 
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

About This Poem

Representative of Poe’s later work, “A Dream Within a Dream” is a revised version of a poem Poe originally composed in the 1820s. It is considered one of the poet’s finest shorter poems. In an article published in 1849, Poe wrote, “It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”

Instagram TV on the process of reciting poetry.


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