These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.
There are ten keys to Affirmative Poetry. When you follow these keys and give someone a poem, you give them a precious gift.
“Ten keys to Affirmative Poetry – and to life. Learn them in one class – practice them for life.”
The ten keys are:
Ground yourself in your body
Let go of expectations
Don’t assume anything
Be open and receptive
Affirm yourself and your subject
Come from a positive frame of mind
If you practice these keys, the poems you give people will often be fun, frequently beautiful and sometimes genuinely healing.
You start by having your subject give you some clues – a few words or sentences about themselves (or their dog if they want the poem about/for their dog, etc.) – so you aren’t starting from scratch.
From this kind of start, Majo landed on these 10 keys by inquiring into the sources of his own success as an affirmative poet:
Why do people so often cry tears of relief or gladness when they hear the poem?
Why do they look at you with soft eyes, like they have always been waiting for you to come along?
Why do they so often say things like “That was perfect!” or “You know me so well!” or “How did you know that? I didn’t say that.”
Anybody can do this. Where does it come from? It’s a great mystery – and lots of practice. You have to “turn it over” – and the ten keys help that happen.
Each class will include extensive drills with one or more of the keys and a chance to get in pairs and to create actual poems – sloppy, imperfect but real poems. You know Anne Lamott’s concept of SFD’s? “Shitty first drafts” – we need ’em.
Each class will end with Majo offering a poem to one or more participants in front of the group. All participants will receive a poem from Majo by the end of the class – and take away a recording.
I have had a fantasy conversation where somebody, before the class or partway through, asks “What’s the difference between these poems and a blessing or a prayer?” And I ask them in return “What does that matter – is that like important to you?” They somewhat sheepishly say, “I don’t know – I just want an answer.” And I say, “No difference, really – it’s all the same. You shower love and affirmation and well-meaning on the person. The difference is just in your entry point – the entry point here is poetry.”