24 March 2007

Poetry as a prescription for brain fog

David Taylor has a wonderful post over at Diary of an Arts Pastor on taking a dose of poetry before bedtime as an antidote to a foggy brain (brought on, in part, by too much Internet surfing). Here's how it starts, but go over and read the whole thing there; he's got a few excellent recommendations of poems at the end.

The doctor told me I don't have enough poetry in my system.

My mind is weak, he said. I don't think carefully enough about words, which just fumble around in my head in a really embarrassing way. They swim by me like a rush of flotsam noise. They get clogged in my memory.

Words and names and titles to movies escape me and I feel like a dumb old man reaching his greedy hands into a jar of alzheimers when it's not even his turn.

So I've added a new component to my bed-time routine. As a way to supplement my diet and to reinforce my natural energies I've decided to take poetry before I go to bed.

I need just a little bit of poetry, not too much, and certainly not four quartets and definitely not five, just one or two in order to slow me down. I need it to teach me again what a good word is, just one word, just a single fat word that means more than I can savor in one sitting.

I need poetry, to be perfectly honest, to save me. I need saving, especially from the benevolent dictatorship of the internet to whom I have given my fealty morning, noon and night, a willing fealty, for the record, not forced, for the sake of finding what exactly I'm never quite sure. The world wide web, like a spider's web, keeps me clung to my monitor screen so that I can rummange around for things I don't think I need when I should be under my covers, mouth shut, prayed up.

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