Tuesday Poem – ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’ and Philip James Bailey

Liz Mahoney a Top of the South writer sent me a link a few days back from BBC-Culture, which made my day. It led to an article about a book called The Poetry Pharmacy. This book was put together by Englishman William Sieghart, well known publisher philanthropist and poetry supporter. He calls it a “self-help book for life, using poetry.” For every affliction – loneliness, love, low self-esteem, lethargy – he prescribes a poem. The poem below is prescribed with the suggestion that it be taken for Over-cautiousness and is also  suitable for: boredom, fear of change, lack of courage, inertia or fear of mortality.

Philip James Bailey

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
And he whose heart beats quickest lives the longest:
Lives in one hour more than in years do some
Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins.
Life’s but a means unto an end;

Phillip James Bailey 1816-1902. Read about him here.

William is passionate about people losing their fear of poetry and with this book he hopes that people will turn to poetry in times of need. Do read the article (see link above) it’s well written and informative and the topic inspired me. I chose the above poem from the book because it is already in the public domain, which means I didn’t have to wait for permission. Also I liked it. The words ‘some whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins’. Wish I had written them!

If you want to read more poems and poetic news for this week please go to Tuesday Poem here.