After visiting her birth country of China during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, poet and entrepreneur, Dawn Li, Ph.D., was inspired to organize a group of poets from around the world to write inspirational poems in response to the ...
Author: Paula Goodman
Poetry Has the Power to Heal and Comfort during a Pandemic After visiting her birth country of China during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, poet and entrepreneur, Dawn Li, Ph.D., was inspired to organize a group of poets from around the world to write inspirational poems in response to the tragedy. In Poetic Medicine, poets-young and old-came forward in an international effort to unite humanity in a fight against Covid-19. Hailing from places like Nigeria, Australia, India, the United States, Scotland, and China, these poets expressed their own worries, desires, and dreams in words that we can all relate to. Dawn Li grew up in Southern China, and studied and worked in Wuhan for six years, where the coronavirus hit first. She is the author of Song of a Lotus Leaf, a memoir in poetry, and holds a doctorate in literature from George Washington University. Praise for "Poetic Medicine" Poetic Medicine in the Time of Pandemic offers us a healing tapestry of voices that light our way as we navigate through the maze of this new and foreign world of Covid-19. Hear the poetic songs of fear, isolation, and loss singing, and as we recognize our own voices that perhaps we've held inside, we are joined by a chorus that includes humor and hope. We come to accept the uncertainty of this new planet we all live on together, learning to tend to each new feeling as it arises and find the possibility of growth it offers, no matter where we're planted or what the conditions. Through some of these poems, we learn to sit with ourselves in this current life-pause, noticing the glories around us, the small things we used to take for granted that now give us joy and hope. Poetic Medicine should be read one or two poems at a time, like spoonfuls of bitters, a prescription written by a doctor of heart and spirit, to help us metabolize, heal, and have courage in this new life where we now find ourselves. -Meredith Heller, MA, poet and author of Songlines and Write A Poem, and her new book, Save Your Life, will be published in 2021 This is an insightful book that advances our collective understanding of the psychological impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the world. -Saida Erradi, Ph.D., faculty member, John Hopkins University Poetic Medicine in the Time of Pandemic is a mirror and a healing balm. Many of the poems address the uncertainty and brokenness that reminds us that we are in this together. It is a heartening reminder of the alchemy that poets use to both hold and heal. Seeing the world as the poets see it allows us to borrow their eyes and remember the world is both smaller and bigger during our shared quarantine. These poems give us space for our anger, our fear, our gratitude, our hope and our imagining the path ahead. Dawn Li has truly given us healing medicine in this lovely collection. -Wendi R. Kaplan, Poet Laureate, Alexandria, Virginia (2016-2019) The editor compiles moving poems in the spirit of "Love the life we live, live the life we love." In the face of unexpected disasters, poets compassionately offer comfort from the back of the moon, from the eagle's eyes, from high-rise buildings in Manhattan, or in the eyes of masked faces standing six feet away. Behind shut-down windows, poets still see the sun, the moon, and the stars, feel the spring breeze brush their faces, and hear Italians singing from their balconies. The book broadcasts an affectionate melody, gently tugging on our heartstrings. We are not alone in this crisis, as the whole world is in it together. We recall the beauty of the past and we know how to cherish it-even if it's just an early morning cup of Starbucks coffee. One day, we will be free again, and together our spirits will be renewed! -Mingming Cheung, retired interior designer, painter, Founder and CEO of Chinese Culture and Art League, Washington, DC