The Welsh have a tradition of honoring the winner of their National Eisteddfod poetry competitions with with a custom made chair. These chairs are works of art, many of them, thrones dedicated to their great poets.
Several known chairs from the last century and a half have gone missing, however. This is a fascinating half-hour documentary of one poet’s search for those lost chairs, especially for the chairs awarded to Dewi Emrys, the only poet to have been awarded four chairs.
The video is in the Welsh language, with English subtitles, making it that much more of a cultural adventure.
I posted this on the Poetry Chaikhana’s Facebook page over the weekend, but I thought I should share it here, as well. This is a video of the actress Ashley Judd reciting a poem by a 19-year-old young woman about “Nasty Women.” As she speaks this poem, she stalks across the stage and channeling the shared experience of outrage combined with a renewed spirit of self-assertion. It is blunt, the language and imagery will be uncomfortable for many. But I share it for this reason: This poem, and the way it is delivered, is undeniably powerful. This poem has become one of the focal points of this massive movement. Refusing to mince words, this poem gives voice to the feelings of so many women who participated in this weekend’s events.
That is the power of poetry. Crystalizing and magnifying the sense of identity and purpose within the collective awareness.
Whether or not you like the poem or the mood it represents, I encourage you to watch in order to see the power of poetry as it operates within society.
A short video in which I discuss poetry, mysticism, and transformation, exploring ideas, such as–
– There is something inherently esoteric in all poetry
– Poetry is the natural language of mystical experience
– Poetry affects thought patterns and rhythm of breath
– Poetry and trance
– Poetry is built of words, which are built of breath
– We participate in the poet’s breath
– Poetry can convey sacred experience directly
From a 2008 interview with Ivan M. Granger by the Ecstatic Arts and Theater Project
The Poetry Chaikhana
Poetry from all the world’s great religious and spiritual traditions. Explore by poet, tradition, theme, or timeline.
The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World
An anthology of sacred poetry edited with commentary by Ivan M. Granger — including this haiku by Issa.
Theme Music by The Yuval Ron Ensemble. Used by permission.