What the Heart Knows
What the Heart Knows Chants, Charms & Blessings By Sidman, Joyce Book - 2013

I think I like this one more for the introduction, section titles, topics, and themes than for the actual poetry, though that wasn't necessarily lacking. The poems are eminently accessible, relatable, and everyday; their approachability invites the reader to participate and imitate. Beautifully written, illustrated, and presented.

From the introduction:

We speak to send messages to the world. We chant for what we want, bless what we like, lament what we've lost. When angry, we curse; when in love, we sing.

We have always done this. Since earliest human history, we have used language to try to influence the world around us . . .

We may no longer believe that words can make crops grow, prevent illness, or keep rivers from flooding. But we still believe in the power of the words themselves. Why else would we pray, sing, or write? Finding phrases to match the emotion inside us still brings an explosive, soaring joy.

I wrote these poems for comfort, for understanding, for hope: to remind myself of things I keep learning and forgetting and learning again. They're about repairing friendship and learning again. They're about repairing friendship, slowing down time, understanding happiness, facing the worst kind of loss. They are words to speak in the face of loneliness, fear, delight, or confusion.

I hope they work for you. I hope you're inspired to write some of your own--and chant them, in your own voice.

The four sections:

Chants & Charms - to bolster courage and guard against evil
Spells & Invocations - to cause something to happen
Laments & Remembrances - to remember, regret, or grieve
Praise Songs & Blessings - to celebrate, thank, or express love

A sample poem:

Invisibility Spell

When taunting eyes chill me,
when laughter stings like sleet,

let my blush blaze hot,
melting each frozen bone.

Let heat pour from my fingers,
turning snow to puddles,

puddles to lakes,
lakes to sultry mist.

Who needs this heavy coat of shame?
Beneath it
I burn with beauty.

It is spring.
I belong to the air.
I step from my body,

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