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The magical beautiful Thandie Newton graces us with Love after Love by Derek Walcott. Her charity of choice is @vdayorg an brilliant organisation I urge you to check them out! Thandie we love you and your incredible talent! Here is the prescription as it reads in @thepoetrypharmacy @thepoetryremedy Condition: Intertia When Alone I see a lot of people in my Pharmacy sessions who tell me that they can’t do anything when they’re on their own. IF they had a visitor, they could entertain: cook, buy food, be cheerful and welcoming. Yet somehow the motivation to do this for themselves is very hard to come by. Left alone, they don’t believe that they’re worth the effort. Similarly, I meet person after person who funnels all their energy into helping and caring for others, yet has no regard for their own wellbeing. It’s as if they see themselves as the only people on earth not deserving of love and kindness. There’s a fundamental unfairness in this: a sense that people are wilfully selling themselves short. It seems to me that a crucial objective of existence is to come to terms with oneself. Learning to like ourselves is something we all battle with, young and old. It’s a constant, permanent progression, and it’s never truly complete. But when you can look yourself in the eye and actually cherish yourself- when you can recognise who you are with all your faults, and be happy with that- then you’ll see that you are no less worthy of kindness than your friends and guests. You’ll be able to speak kindly and politely to yourself, no longer tearing yourself down as you might an enemy, but instead bolstering and encouraging yourself as you would anyone else. We devote so much time to self-analysis in our modern lives, to wondering why we aren’t happy or whether other people see our flaws as plainly as we do. Many of us resort to pills and alcohol, and sometimes even less healthy habits, just to keep ourselves in some semblance of balance. Yet all most of us really need is to come to terms with who we are. Unfortunately, there is not an over-the-counter remedy for this. Fortunately, however, it is entirely within our grasp. Thank you thank you @thandienewton ❤️🙏🏻
The beautiful, breathtaking talent that is Andrew Scott reads for us ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ by Derek Mahon. Andrew has asked to dedicate this to Men Against Cancer Ireland Andrew we salute you! 🕺 It comes under the prescription for need for reassurance. Here’s how it reads as written in the book @thepoetrypharmacy @thepoetryremedy There are moments in life when the banal suddenly, and quite without warning, becomes the transcendent. Perhaps a shaft of afternoon light paints a familiar view an unfamiliar gold; perhaps dust in a sunbeam or the dance of sparks above a fire transport you, for a long instant, to somewhere else altogether. The almost magical-seeming reflections of ripples on a ceiling are transfixing in just the same way. In moments like these- awe-struck moments when the ferocious beauty of the everyday catches us unawares- we are often moved to a reassessment. One flash of sunlight can be all it takes to give us the sense of possibility that can change everything. As a great sufferer from depression myself, I find a small moment like this, a sudden splash of serenity and beauty, can provide the impetus needed to run my mood around. Not completely, perhaps, and not permanently- but sometimes a small push is all any of us is waiting for. Derek Mahon’s poem ‘Everything is Going to be All Right’ describes wonderfully the feeling of that little push and reassessment. And there’s something hugely powerful, too, about its final line. When my children are suffering and I hold them in my arms, it seems to be the most natural mantra in the world: Everything will be all right. There’s a comfort to those words, whether or not they’ll prove to be true. OF course, some wounds don’t heal, and some wrongs go un-righted. But in the grander sense, in the everything sense, things to tend to be all right. Too often, our pain is either in our heads or magnified beyond all proportion. If we can learn to manage it, if we can find that oasis of calm in the reflection of the waves, then we might find that out problems are not as all-consuming as we imagined. Thank you thank you Andrew!
The one, the only, the legend that is Stephen Fry reads Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon. His charity is @mindcharity. An incredible mental health organisation that does beautiful work for all those in need. This poem comes under the ailment of Depression, here is the prescription as written in the book: Condition: Depression The difficulty with depression is that it can make you believe illogical things. Once it has its hooks in you, you can end up feeling like you’ll never pull yourself free without unravelling completely. There’s no escape, you tell yourself. This is just who you are now; this is how you’re going to feel for the rest of your life. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Time and again, in my life and the lives of my Poetry Pharmacy patients, I have known and witnessed those wonderful, transformative moments that wrench you out of misery and show you the glory of the world as if it were a brand-new discovery. You can start the day hopeless and end it knowing that everything is going to be OK. Life can change very, very quickly, often turning on moments or causes that you would never have expected. I love the sense in Siegfried Sassoon’s poem ‘Everyone Sang’ of a sudden unfurling of possibility and excitement. In a flash, happiness is not only imaginable but rushing out of you- rushing out of everyone- like a flock of birds in flight. It will bowl you over; it will leave you breathless with laughter. I give this to patients to let them know that they have something to look forward to. Their moment of singing will come; and when it does, they will know that it was always inevitable. Thank you Stephen!! (Trying to keep my fan girl in check here...) 🙏🏻🙌❤️ @thepoetrypharmacy @thepoetryremedy
The heaven sent Helena Bonham Carter has gifted us a glorious rendition of ‘Wild Geese’ by Mary Oliver. Her charity is the Camden Psychotherapy Unit (CPU) a brilliant organisation that helps those who can’t afford therapy the ability to heal. In @thepoetrypharmacy this poem falls under Self Recrimination. Here’s the prescription as it reads in the book: There’s something about nature in poetry that always seems to speak to people. The natural world brings with it an extraordinary sense of vigour and renewal one which, in turn, provides the perfect springboard for rethinking our own problems and difficulties. There’s no worry so great that it can’t be made small by the sweep of wild geese across an endless sky. The scale of such images helps us to escape from the constrained- and often urban- emotional patterns in which we can so easily become stuck. They prompt us to say to ourselves: ‘I can. I can overcome.’ In its seventeen lines, Mary Oliver’s ‘Wild Geese’ communicates a wonderful and quietly radical idea: that we might treat the soft animals of our bodies with kindness. Allow yourself to love what you love- not only whom, you’ll notice, but what. Feeling needn’t always be help in check by rationality, especially when so many of our desires and compulsions relate to the animal in us. Rather than fight it, we should celebrate and nurture our animal self: so much stupider than us in some ways, and let, in other ways, so much wiser. The attempt to civilise ourselves is often our greatest source of pain. Imagine a life in which we did not have to repent an undignified desire, or a so-called ;sinful’, ‘bestial’ or ’savage’ thought. Oliver tells us that there is no need for the self-flagellation that seems part and parcel of being a person, of being good. 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. Thank you thank you Helena!! ❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻❤️
Episode two!! All hail The magical talented kind man that is @idriselba. He is reading The Point by Kate Tempest. (A BEAUTY of a poem) His Charity shout out is for Food Banks - google your nearest one if you’re able to help them in anyway! Here is the prescription as it appears in @thepoetrypharmacy book: Condition: Fear of Loss Sometimes, even in the midst of great happiness or beauty a shadow can fall over us. We can be caught up in enjoyment, living in the moment, and then all of a sudden we take a step back. This can’t last, we remember. The laughter will end; the children will grow up; the sun will set. In that realisation, each joy can come to feel like a threat: just one more thing that we will one day loose. And yet, of course, to hoard our joys like a dragon on a pile of treasure will do us no good at all. The more we scrabble to keep a hold on those things we love, the less we allow ourselves to spend time loving them. Misers may hold onto their gold, but they never have the chance to spend it. In this wonderful poem, Kate Tempest demonstrates something remarkably like the Buddhist idea that peace comes from ’non-attachment’. This attitude can seem counter-intuitive, but it is really only a matter of not allowing your bonds to own you- by not allowing yourself to want to own them. Anguish, the Buddhists say, is the result of taking transitory things- the world, people, possessions- and forming attachments to them built not on an acceptance of their impermanence, but on a fear of their loss. This can soon lead to a wish never to form any kind of bond at all, lest it one day be broken. But if we allow ourselves no attachments, where will we find joy? Instead, like Tempest, we must treasure beauty and happiness without allowing their loss to sting us- or make us afraid of taking pleasure in life to begin with. Because for everything that is lost, every sun that sets, there will come a new joy, a new beauty, a new sunrise. Trust in tomorrow to bring out something new. Who knows: it may even be better than today. THANK YOU IDRIS!! 🙏🏻🙌❤️