Imagining the Real: Exploring Focusing & Poetry
With John McDargh, Ph.D.
November 22, 2-4 PM
We must imagine the real – Martin Buber
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found its words. – Robert Frost
If we take Frost’s definition of poetry and substituted the term “felt-sense” for the word “emotion” , we might say that the process of focusing is a way that each of us can make poetry of our most ordinary life experience . This workshop will be a seriously playful and playfully serious exercise in sharing poems that have been significant to us, learning to listen and respond to poetry with our body-self, and trying our hand at writing our own simple poetry by employing focusing’s distinctive practices. Please bring with you one or two poems to share that have been particularly important to you in your life, your earliest memories of poetry (including perhaps a poem you committed to memory in childhood), and a pad or notebook to write in.
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but a doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
– Mary Oliver
John McDargh has taught the psychology of religious development in the Department of Theology at Boston College since completing his doctoral work at Harvard in 1979. An undergraduate English major with a life-long love of poetry and a certified Focusing trainer, John has found in the practices of focusing a way of “finding what we never lost” – our interior poet.