Poetry as Transformative Experience | Poetry Chaikhana

Welcome to the Poetry Chaikhna Sacred Poetry from Around the World. With Ivan M. Granger [Interviewer] I know, Ivan, that
you have written about poetry when it’s deeply engaged can be a very transformative experience. I wonder if you can talk a little bit about
that. [Ivan M. Granger] That’s really the interesting
thing to me about poetry, more than the beautiful craft of words, is that it tends to be a natural outpouring
of the sacred experience among many of these mystics. There’s something inherently esoteric
in the nature of poetry, even poetry we don’t typically label as
“sacred poetry,” you know, just contemporary poetry that focuses
on relatively mundane subjects, there’s still a resonance of layers of meaning
that suggests metaphor in the sense of a metaphoric relationship
with reality. One thing just resonates with so much meaning
that it starts to flow into a wider reality. So on that level it’s a natural language
of mystical experience, of these great spiritual seekers throughout
the ages. But also, poetry, when we read those poems, when we chant them, or speak them, or sing
them, they have an immediate effect on the mind. It affects the thought patterns. It can affect the pattern of your breath,
the rhythm of your breath. And that, in and of itself, leads to, you
might say, a light trance state. Just like when you get caught up in singing
a beautiful song. You start to just sort of flow. You get into a different state of mind. The same is true of poetry when you engage
with it deeply. And if you think about it, poetry is built
on words, which are built on the breath. So when you read the poetry written by these
various mystics, you are participating in their breath, in
a certain sense. Their patterns of breathing get passed on
to you in re-reading what they wrote, however many centuries ago. So you can say that poetry, on one hand, can
be a description of all these levels of ways of viewing the world that mystics bring to language But it also can convey something of that sacred
experience directly to the reader or the reciter of the poetry. Visit the Poetry Chaikhana online at poetry-chaikhana.com Come and explore the poetry of mystics, poets,
and saints from around the world.

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