Imagining the Real: The Art of Poetry and the Art of Pastoral Attending View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2011-06

AUTHORS

John McDargh

ABSTRACT

This article explores the author’s own engagement with poetry and with the multiple ways in which poetry may serve as a resource for the pastoral care giver. First, it considers poetry as a means of “tuning the ear” of the counselor to the client’s use of metaphor and examines with the help of Mark Doty’s moment-by-moment description of the creation of his poem “A Display of Mackerel” the parallel process of the unfolding of the meanings of metaphoric speech in closely attended-to pastoral conversation. Second, the relationships between focusing (Gendlin), and its associations with Christian meditation, and poetry are explored. Third, the article examines the psychological and spiritual significance of memorized poetry (“poems known by heart”) by a close reading of a particular moment in a therapy session conducted by D.W. Winnicott and poems the author memorized at earlier stages in his life. Finally, it considers the power of finding a “soul friend” in particular poets who function at key times in our lives as the bearers of solace, mercy and illumination. The author cites his own experience in this regard upon reading a poem by David Whyte. More... »

PAGES

451

Journal

TITLE

Pastoral Psychology

ISSUE

3

VOLUME

60

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s11089-011-0341-z

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11089-011-0341-z

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1001461386


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