Coachlines - June 2020

14.06.20 Honorary Assistant John Blauth

A poem a day will keep your shrink… baffled

So many people banging on and on and on in media about mental health, it is clearly time to lose one’s marbles officially, and as can be confirmed by a higher authority, I claim that I jolly well have!

In common with the serf featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, however, I can report that it got better. Not, I hasten to point out because of the irrefutable logic displayed by Sir Bedevere, aka Terry Jones, but because of a wonderful little book, published first in 2018, called A Year of Reading Aloud.

Compiled by Georgina Rodgers, best-selling author and widely read journalist, the book includes 52 poems, some of which may please and others which may not. All, though, are a wonderful antidote against the rush rush rush of ceaseless hurrying, like the demonic-inhabited swine of Gadarene, as we hurtle to nowhere.

We’re ‘doing ourselves in’ by this endless activity, and to no positive purpose unless ulcer-building is a good thing.

To quote from the back cover: “The ancient tradition of learning and reciting poetry is renowned for its wellbeing benefits – from strengthening the mind and boosting creativity, to improving memory.”

Now there will be among us those who say they do not like poetry, and “don’t get it.”

Because the greatest written works in the noble English language are poetry, I encourage you to junk your shrink, spurn your third cocktail and spend just four weeks with this book. It’s well worth it and its benefits are addictive.

Not only will the process rejuvenate your mind, it will add spring to the mental steps required to allow you to bend down and pick up your missing marbles from the floor upon which you stand still.