Image by Silas Baisch

The Power of Poetry

Poetry never went away, we are surrounded by it in advertising, in language, in school. For decades it has been dismissed as a playful toy or dry academic subject, but for thousands of years it has been regarded as a potent and essential development tool.

 

At Wordlab Arts, we believe the embodiment of poetry - writing, editing, memorising and reciting is one of the most powerful training tools known to humanity. 

 

At Wordlab Arts, we believe working through poetry has significant and unique benefits for wellbeing, development, performance and strategic planning abilities.

 

Our courses nurture the development of deeper and different connections between teams.

Boost confidence, attachment, wellbeing, esteem. 

 

Wittgenstein said anyone who didn’t understand poetry was ‘meaning blind’, and we sort of agree. Bring your teams together in this turbulent time. Give your staff tools to navigate the uncertainty.

Our brains are built by what we do.

What we train our minds to do (and our bodies), builds the physical structures in our brains which facilitate our life and learning.

The more complex the actions and thoughts which we practice: the more sophisticated and powerful those structures become.

Poetry embodies memory, emotions, knowledge; often eliciting unconscious feelings which, together with the influence of rhythm and rhyme creates a very powerful medium. We believe that certain methods of working through poetry create very sophisticated, very powerful structures.

Our gently and expertly mentored sessions will help you, or your staff become more resilient, more connected, less stressed and more efficient. If you like, think of it as yoga for the mind.

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Poetry's Story

“We are born makers, and creativity is the ultimate act of integration — it is how we fold our experiences into our being…”  – Brené Brown, from Rising Strong.

We believe the single most effective way to improve the capabilities of our minds remains what human civilisation discovered centuries ago: poetry. Ancient cultures leaned that memorising poetry benefited the capabilities of the mind so massively, that vast, epic tales could be memorised and passed on to other generations and populations in a reliable and sustainable mechanism.

 

There is more though than a profound impact on memory and cognitive ability. The act of creating and writing poetry elicits hidden emotions and brings them to the forefront of our consciousness; allowing them to be dealt with, acknowledged and validated; bringing essential benefits to well-being, particularly in a time of crisis such as we are living in just now.

 

Although practiced for centuries as an integral part of education, the immense benefits of working through poetry are only beginning to be understood now, as modern neuroscience has finally caught up to the poets. More studies are being done, and we hope that the work of WordLab Arts can be involved in future research.

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Science

Neuroscience is moving toward the understanding that poetry offers significant, and unique, benefits for wellbeing and work performance.

 

As children we are taught nursery rhymes because we remember rhymes.

 

We remember rhyming because its complex nature – words (and their meanings being linked together) creates complex, large clumps of neuron-rich, and therefore, sophisticated brain structures. 

 

One study shows that like music, neurons created by engaging with poetry are bigger than those created by most other activities. http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_324631_en.html

 

A more recent study shows conclusively that neurons are more than simple binary gates. They don’t just have a linear, Yes/No processes, with for example, one ‘connection at either end’.  A team at Humboldt University, headed by Professor Matthew Larkum, have discovered that one single neuron can make up to 100000 connections.  https://tinyurl.com/4m3nk97z

 

The central hypothesis of The Blue Brain Project, in Switzerland, is that as a person grows to mastery of a sophisticated cognitive or physical process, the advanced control of that process is developed in the mind as a network of connected brain structures. https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/our-brains-think-in-11-dimensions-discover-scientists

 

This creates neuron-rich areas of immense density, which we know from Larkum, can have extraordinary amounts of connections.

 

These areas appear to create increasingly multi-dimensional quantum fields in which to analyse information, to perform tasks, from skills to wellness modulation; and the capacity of each level is vastly more than that which preceded. 

 

This might explain the gulf in virtuosity between a piano teacher and a beginner, and then, a piano teacher and Mozart. Or between the adequate analyst; and the very best).

 

These new brain structures don’t just connect to intellectual tasks; these connections bring in emotions, insight and intuition as well as other knowledge that our brains can recognise as significant. In terms of emotional context, studies have shown how poetry helps the brain cope with emotional turmoil. 

 

We believe poetry’s innate neurological benefits are amplified by the process of writing and embodying a poem, and that the process can produce similar leaps forward in in wellbeing and cognitive ability as those hypothesized by Markram. 

 

Let Wordlab Arts bring these profound benefits to your workforce.

John Stoddart 07879744971