Moxie ConsultationRae Hight, RN, MA, LMHC

Journaling Information | Journaling Instruction
Benefits of Journaling | Journaling Tips | Poetry Information
Sample Journaling Techniques | Quotes & Writing Prompts


“I think that we’re beginning to
remember that the first poets didn’t
come out of a classroom, that
poetry began when somebody
walked off of a savanna or out of a cave
and looked up at the sky with
wonder and said, ‘Ahhh.’
That was the first poem.”
Lucille Clifton

The world of personal poetry is a jewel of expression that is unique, inspired and inspiring. Words written in poetic form can be woven into the fabric of journaling, or can become a separate expression of emotion and experience. Sometimes the rhythm and flow of poetry fills a need that other writing hasn’t been able to complete.

If you love writing poetry, or feel curious about the mystery that seems to surround it, I deeply and fully encourage you to pursue that urge.

The world of poets and poetry is vast, with something for just about everyone. I invite you to visit the poetry section of your local libraries and bookstores. Scan through the books, see which poets appeal to you. Anthologies can provide wonderful examples of the variety of poetic voices. The web absolutely abounds with options for reading and writing poetry. In addition to listings of specific poets and samples of poetry, you’ll be amazed at the variety of free subscriptions that provide daily and/or weekly poems and poetry prompts.

Here are a few of my favorite poets:
Angelou, Maya
Bass, Ellen
Carver, Raymond
Collins, Billy
Hall, Donald
Housden, Roger (also is an editor for a magnificent series of anthologies)
Oliver, Mary
Olds, Sharon
Nye, Naomi Shihab
Pastan, Linda
Rosen, Kim

Instructional/informative books:

If writing poetry is new for you, or you’d like a bit more guidance in writing and your immediate goal is writing for personal pleasure or emotional release, consider reading books that invite curiosity and encouragement. Some introductions to poetry can be heavy with information about meter, structure, etc. Although helpful and important for growth as a poet, they can also discourage or overwhelm someone who is beginning to find their poetic voice. Three of my “user-friendly” books are:

Kathleen Adams’ Scribing the Soul: Essays in Journal Therapy (with poetry by Amy Christman) (available through the Center for Journal Therapy).

Sheila Bender’s Writing Personal Poetry: Creating Poems from Your Life Experiences © 1998, Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH

Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.

Note: I love poetry. Plain and simple. Love reading it. Love writing it. Love incorporating it into my journaling and my journal coaching. Within this, my role as a certified journal therapist who loves poetry is to inspire, encourage and provide resources. This includes information on Certified Poetry Therapists (CPT) and Certified Applied Poetry Facilitators (CAPF). These professionals have pursued a lengthy and intense training program to become certified through the National Association of Biblio/Poetry Therapists. If you would like to use poetry as part of a more formal therapeutic process, please visit this website.

“Poetry Therapy, or poetry which is used for healing and personal growth, may be traced back to primitive man, who used religious rites in which shamans and witchdoctors chanted poetry for the well-being of the tribe or individual. It is documented that as far back as the fourth millennium B.C.E. in ancient Egypt, words were written on papyrus and then dissolved into a solution so that the words could be physically ingested by the patient and take effect as quickly as possible. It is also recorded that around 1030 B.C.E., the music of a shepherd boy named David soothed the "savage breast" of King Saul.” (