Carolyn and Dan let’s discuss the story behind founding The Poet’s Way community. First, a very fundamental question; Why poetry?
Dan Buchner (DB)
Some years ago I was asked to gather creative works I had produced over the years. So I pulled together drawings, hunted down photographs, and dusted off sculptures, the obvious examples of my artist endeavors over the years. Then for some reason I thought to look through my journals, perhaps there were some treasures worth unearthing. As I leafed through pages I began to see the occasional piece of writing, small groups of inspired words that interrupted the stream of consciousness of my journaling. Words that, apparently, were a result of the deep thoughts and emotions I was immersed at the time.
I transcribed each onto individual scraps of paper as I found them. Soon my desk was covered with them. I spent hours reading them and it began to dawn on me; they were in fact poems. I had been writing poetry. Not only were they poems, they were personally prophetic and spiritual. This was a revelation to me as I considered myself neither a poet nor a spiritual person. They had given voice to a part of me deep inside, a voice I didn’t know was there.
So why poetry? Poetry allows our inner voice, the unexpressed, to find its way into the world. Eventually I started sharing those poems with others. Astonishingly, some were moved and inspired by them. There was something about my experience expressed in those poems, so human that it resonated with them intensely. Poetry allows us to see our humanity and our world in new ways. It opens possibilities for us all.
Carolyn A Dragon (CAD)
I like to talk. A lot. And I like to kibitz with words and find ways to engage others. I’m curious about life and other’s lives. I enjoy sharing stories and connecting hearts. As a teen, I played folk guitar and made up song lyrics. In school, I majored in communications and marketing.
I’ve always thought of poetry as a bit stuffy or unapproachable — certainly not accessible for me. I grew up on funny sitcoms and earned my living creating product concepts and assigning copy to the ones that launched. The thought of reading an entire book of poetry sounded quite daunting.
Then I encountered Rumi and Mary Oliver and David Whyte and other poets. With only a few phrases, they touched my heart, ignited my imagination and connected to my soul. I began to quote a bit of poetry. I used it to remind me, to guide me. When reading and sharing poetry with others, I noticed how much richer and more intimately connected our relationships became. I began to express myself in writing. I wrote about myself and about what I experienced about others. The words flowed, fast and with intensity, like a compulsion. Poetry isn’t stuffy or inaccessible. Poetry is in all of us. Poetry is as simple as air.
Obviously Poetry has come into both your lives in unique and meaningful ways. So, why The Poet’s Way?
As Carolyn has so eloquently expressed, “To inspire and be inspired.” I have spent years working with people inside of some of world’s leading organizations helping them and their organizations in becoming more innovative. I have found people trapped trying to live up to other’s expectations. It’s as if they are not living their fullest and most authentic lives. A part of them is being suppressed thus left unexpressed. Most don’t even realize it. To face the challenges of our world today we need everyone living at their full potential, including Carolyn and me. So we decided to form The Poet’s Way to inspire others to discover their authentic, creative selves and bring that to the world. Also, to be inspired ourselves by outstanding people who endeavor to live The Poet’s Way.
Poetry is a tangible way to express the intangible. It’s a paradox. Life’s a paradox. Poetry is life.
By happenstance, Dan and I and a group of friends discovered Mary Oliver was having a poetry reading locally. For me, I know a couple lines of her work (most notably “What do you plan on doing with your one wild and precious life?”). For Dan, he is The Poet. He has been reading and writing poetry for quite some time and he has a unique connection with Mary Oliver’s poem, Wild Geese – a whole story in itself.
The evening of poetry reading was delightful. May Oliver is witty and fun and full of heart and poignant and authentic and talented and gracious and intentional and enchanting. She is like a regular person showing up and sharing herself and allowing us all to connect in this delicious human experience.
Later as my friend drove us home, I questioned if she thought Dan would have parked his car by then. She asked why and I said because I wanted to text him an idea and I didn’t want him driving off the road. The idea, and I’m known for having LOTS of ideas, was to co-lead a program that uses poetry as the bookends to the lessons. To wrap poetry, the listening, learning and living poetry, around a program of self-discovery, awakening, being in relationship with others and to create a movement based on living The Poet’s Way. Yep, you heard right — just another new product concept to create a better world through people living their best, most fulfilling life.
Why is now the right time for The Poet’s Way?
Simple, if not now when? Why wait?
Time’s up on the other way. There is hollowness in living. We have moved so far from our innate creative soul, we have become lost. We are creating a culture of lemmings following a manufactured life based on lies.
Our souls require dusting. We need to reconnect to ourselves at our core and reignite the flame of our own unique truth. We need to fan our flame and connect in community to feed the whole.
Dan and I are the founding partners of The Poet’s Way. Though we created The Poet’s Way community, it is not ours – it is yours. It is your place to awaken and nourish your inner poet – and we are all poets. Welcome!