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Using Poems in Coaching: Enhancing Minds and Spirit Through Words

Poems contain stories, emotions, imaginary worlds, and metaphors that offer stimulation to the rational mind and nourishment to the soul. When they are read with intention, they can bring forth new ideas and solutions to your answers.

Poem in a book next to it a flower
Read a poem aloud and let it flow through you

What poem best describes your life?

Poems can bring fresh insights in the coaching conversations too. This week, after guiding a vizualisation, I relied on my intuition and I reached for the poem that had a similar image what my client described. What is fascinating here is what the poem brings up for you. What is the actual meaning of it to you? How will it move the conversation (in your head) forward?

If you're in a coaching conversations, you can deep digger by asking the coachee:

Which poem best describes your life in the current instant?

What comes up as you read it aloud?

What does it tell you about your next step?


Get started with these inspirational poems

Here are four poems, three in English and one in Hungarian to stimulate your thinking:

Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Dorothy Hunt: Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

Do you think peace requires an end to war?

Or tigers eating only vegetables?

Does peace require an absence from

your boss, your spouse, yourself? …

Do you think peace will come some other place than here?

Some other time than Now?

In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.

That is all. This moment in the Heart-space

where everything that is is welcome.

Peace is this moment without thinking

that it should be some other way,

that you should feel some other thing,

that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,

this moment in the heart-space where

everything that is is welcome.


Nina Simone: I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

I wish I knew how

It would feel to be free

I wish I could break

All the chains holding me

I wish I could say

All the things that I should say

Say 'em loud, say 'em clear

For the whole round world to hear

I wish I could share

All the love that's in my heart

Remove all the bars

That keep us apart

I wish you could know

What it means to be me

Then you'd see and agree

That every man should be free

I wish I could give

All I'm longin' to give

I wish I could live

Like I'm longin' to live

I wish I could do

All the things that I can do

And though I'm way over due

I'd be starting anew


Szabó Lőrinc: Szél hozott, szél visz el

Köd előttem, köd mögöttem, Isten tudja, honnan jöttem. Szél hozott, szél visz el. Minek kérdjem, mért visz el?

Sose néztem, merre jártam. A felhőkkel kiabáltam. Erdő jött, jaj be szép! Megcibáltam üstökét.

Jött az erdő, nekivágtam. A bozótban őzet láttam. Kergettem, ottmaradt, Cirógattam, elszaladt.

Ha elszaladt, hadd szaladjon, Csak szeretőm megmaradjon. Szeretőm a titok, Ő se tudja, ki vagyok.

Isten tudja, honnan jöttem, Köd előttem, köd mögöttem. Szél hozott, szél visz el. Bolond kérdi, mért visz el.


What are some of your favourite poems?


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