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Poetry as Healing: Exploring Point of View

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September 21, 2015

With  Reggie Marra, MA, IMC, ACC & Lyedie Geer, IMC

Interested in Poetry as a Healing Practice?

Find out more about our upcoming course, Poetry as Healing, with resident poet Reggie Marra.

Online course begins October 1st, 2015


Poetry as Healing: Exploring Point of View


LYEDIE GEER:  Hello, Reggie.

REGGIE MARRA:  Hi, Lyedie.

LYEDIE GEER:  So I’m Lyedie Geer, and I’m here with Reggie Marra today to talk about his upcoming course with the Teleosis Institute and the course is called “Poetry as Healing.” So, Reggie, can you tell us a little bit about your course and when it starts?

REGGIE MARRA:  Sure, we’ll be beginning on October 1st. It will be eight Thursdays in a row, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. And the course is designed to use poetry writing as a healing modality, and we’ll actually explore a variety of literary or poetic tools, and we’ll use them both as literary tools on how to use them to write poetry, but also on how to use them in terms of living a conscious life. For example, one of the tools that we’ll use is point of view or perspective and beyond using that as a literary tool, we’ll actually use it as a tool from knowing ourselves better and better understanding our own healing narratives which are part of this course.

LYEDIE GEER:  So tell me a little bit more about using point of view. When I read your course syllabus, that was the thing that really lit it up for me. So I’d really like to hear more about how you do that.

REGGIE MARRA:  Yeah, sure. And thanks for that. We have the opportunity to tell our stories, to write our poems, to communicate through a variety, a multiplicity, almost an infinite number of points of view. We typically tend not do that because I tend to speak through a conditioned Reggie Marra point of view over X number of decades and this many experiences.  But in fact, we really can expand our perspective and learn to look at our own stories and other stories from perspectives other than our conditioned ones. And that’s one of the things we’ll explore. We’ll actually begin with that in the first week of the course.

LYEDIE GEER:  Nice. So when I was a young person, I learned to write in third person, a lot, you know, sort of expository writing. And that has its value too, right?

REGGIE MARRA:  Oh, it does. That’s actually – I’m glad you asked that because I want to differentiate and kind of show the similarities between first, second and third person, and point of view and perspective. We could say that there’s a first-person perspective or a first-person point of view. But there’s more to point of view or perspective, as I’m using it, than just first, second and third person. Those are parts of it, but there’s a lot more there. There’s age, there’s gender, there’s personality type, there’s experience–all of that. So all of that contributes to the possible and potential points of view that we can use. Yeah.

LYEDIE GEER:  So do you have an example of a piece tooled up that you could share with me and share with whoever is listening that would show that?


REGGIE MARRA:  Sure. I’ll share a poem that actually deliberately takes three points of view on the same topic. And it’s – I won’t say much more about it, but there are three stanzas. It will take about a minute, maybe a minute and a quarter to read, and you’ll hear the three different perspectives as they unfold in the poem. It’s called The Rickety Bridge, and it’s actually about relationship, not that anybody would have an interest in that who’s listening to us.

Heart aroused

I walk across

the rickety bridge

above the roaring gorge,

fear falling, collapse

exhaustion and



my aroused heart

to the woman standing

on solid ground where

the bridge ends,

beyond which I

neither see nor know

anything. She invites

and resists my approach.
I stand on shaky ground

and watch him walk

across the rickety bridge

toward me in a fog

of difficulty behind, within

and looming below. He

misattributes his aroused

heart to me, mistakes me

and my ground as solid,

unaware what’s behind and

within me. He gets steadily

closer, my own heart

aroused, anxious

from a patterned path


I yearn for the hand

he offers

alluring danger,

frightening safety,

open heart.


Amid one Story and billions of stories

one man crosses a rickety bridge

toward a woman who waits

on the other side.

He attributes his aroused heart

to her. She’s not so sure.

How each responds as he

approaches determines

and is determined by
what they do next. They

love and fear, have

complete and no control.

They choose and are chosen.

Each moment is theirs,

holds and is



So just to interrupt your enjoying that as I finish it, you know, just really briefly, the first stanza was from a masculine first person perspective. The second was from the feminine first person perspective.  And the third was from a kind of omniscient third person perspective observing the two earlier perspectives. And, you know, if we have more time, we can really get into what goes on in the poem and how those perspectives can be worked with. But that’s just an example of, on a really small scale, I think, of what’s possible.


LYEDIE GEER:  Yeah. Nice.


LYEDIE GEER:  I really see how you would really delve into that perspective-taking piece because there’s also the whole use of nature too. That is another perspective there.

REGGIE MARRA:  Yes. That’s actually – I’m glad you said because that’s – what you just said is something that – that poem is mine. I wrote that. The nature, the natural part of that poem, I didn’t put in there deliberately. So the poem did that, you know. I had an intention to work with points of view or perspectives, and what you caught from your perspective was the nature part. And again, that’s great for me to hear.

LYEDIE GEER:  Nice. So, Reg, I’m really looking forward to this course getting started, and I know you’ve got a few spaces left. So where do people need to go in order to sign up for this? And if they want to learn more, what’s their best path?

REGGIE MARRA:  Yeah. The best place to go is Teleosis.org. And that’s T-E-L-E-O-S-I-S dot org, and there’s a Poetry as Healing page there. You can find it very easily on the menu. We also have a Facebook page for Teleosis, and there will be some announcements there as well. But the best place to get the details are on the Teleosis.org website. Go directly to the Poetry As Healing page. You can see the entire six – oh, excuse me, eight-week outline. And if you have questions, you can actually e-mail us at Teleosis via the website.

LYEDIE GEER:  Great. Thank you so much. I loved hearing that poem.

REGGIE MARRA:  Right. And good to be here with you, Lyedie. Take care.

LYEDIE GEER:  Yeah. Take care.




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