Mark Nepo has survived cancer several times now. He has written about his experience extensively and Surviving has made me crazy is the latest book of poetry dealing with the invasive illness in his life.
James Owens wrote an interesting book review about Nepo's work of which I want to share the first paragraph with you here, the rest of the review you can find on the website , by clicking here.
It makes perfect sense that there should be kinship between poetry and healing. Poetry can grow from the deepest places in the self, and those same recesses will be affected by the experience of any serious illness, such as the bouts with cancer that have given shape and purpose to the writing and teaching of Mark Nepo, author of Surviving Has Made Me Crazy. We may sometimes forget the essential nature of this connection, with the contemporary Western world´s focus on the physical aspects of disease, its causes and cure, but some other cultures have always known the power of words that touch the core of an afflicted person through ritual and incantation, through sacred text and prayer. Christians remember this connection when they speak of Christ both as The Word and as The Great Physician, and there are similar instances in other traditions. While Nepo never slights the importance of medical and scientific knowledge, his poems push forward to a wider understanding that can only be called spiritual.
More about the book and some excerpts, you can find on Nepo's website by clicking here.
Tell me and I will forget;
show me and I may remember;
involve me and I will understand.
Old Chinese Proverb