People in conversation

On Poetry (and Convening)

I have come to incorporate poetry and recitation into my work with Essential Partners because poetry arrives with its own rituals.

There are many uses for poetry in a dialogue—or at any convening where emotions run high. Reading poetry aloud invites cadence and flow, pause and reflection. It allows listeners to have a moment with themselves, regardless of how many other people are standing beside or opposite them—or what they might be feeling.

There are poems that open and poems that close; poems which pull on a thread of what I see to be true about a situation; poems that invite openness and discovery. 

I have a particular fondness for poems that invite listeners to engage the wisdoms they carry within themselves.

Poems can mark transitions—a beginning, a middle point, or an end. They invite listeners into a certain mindset and they bring you, the reader, a new awareness of the space and the energy. 

Poetry locates the space between what is metaphorical and what is practical, lifting you up and settling you into whatever role you endeavor to embody.

Below is a list of poems that we at Essential Partners have used in dialogues, facilitation, convenings, trainings, and meetings.

Poems for Transitions

“A Ritual to Read to Each Other” by William E. Stafford

“Our Real Work” by Wendell Berry

“The Raincoat” by Ada Limón

“Everything is Waiting for You” by David Whyte

“Songs and Stones” by Jacqueline Saphra

Readings to Evoke the Unseen

The opening passage from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, as well as this selection from “What makes a desert beautiful” to “the source of their beauty cannot be seen!”

“Narrative Theology #1” by Padraig O Tuama

“The Woodcarver” by Chuang Tzu

Phoebe Sinclair is an Associate at Essential Partners.