The po­etry healer

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Cur­ing with the power of words

How­ever blue you’re feel­ing, there’s a poem that can help. Words have the power to ex­plain and trans­form your emo­tions, which is why self-styled po­etry phar­ma­cist Wil­liam Sieghart CBE has been trav­el­ling the UK pre­scrib­ing po­etic reme­dies for ev­ery­thing from anx­i­ety and ad­dic­tion, to lone­li­ness and heartache.

Now he’s com­piled a book, The Po­etry Phar­macy. You’ll find 56 po­ems writ­ten by poets from Maya An­gelou to Shake­speare to help soothe and com­fort.

“Words give us a sense of calm and con­ti­nu­ity,” Sieghart says. “With smart phones and the in­ter­net, we be­come very disjointed by so much in­for­ma­tion com­ing in at all times,” he ex­plains. “Po­etry is a re­minder of the world as it used to be, as it still is, and al­ways will be.”

Pho­to­graph KRISTY NO­BLE Pa­per art JU­LIANNA SZABO

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