Poetry and Magic (some thoughts)
Poetry is something that I generally refer to as “the fluffy icing on a cake,” preferring prose as a daily bread. But over the years I have found it useful in a variety of settings, and recently have begun to truly appreciate the art (blasphemy, I know). Poetry is a form of written sigil; very similar to the fabled “hypersigil” of comics. In fact, it is a hypersigil, for the definition of it is: “a creative work that via the medium of its artificial universe changes its creator, its observers, the real world, or other things.” And that is what well written poetry does. Unfortunately most poetry isn’t written well.
Prime examples of poets who (consciously or unconsciously) exemplify this in my eyes are Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and William Burroughs. Emily Dickinson is perhaps my favorite of them all, and I find the undertones of magic afoot in her writing often.
When poetry is written correctly, it changes its reader. It makes you think; that’s why most people don’t like it. It is supposed to evoke an emotional and sensual response from its reader and create change, even if the change is just a sense of profound wonder. While this can be done through a prose piece, it tends to be a bit harder and length seems to be an issue as well in my experience.
I have been using poetry in my magic on and off for around 4 years (not including my time away from the occult), and have had decent results with it. I generally use it to express feelings that I am feeling and then burn the piece as a form of banishing ritual. It can be used in other forms as well; I’ve found posting it on a blog and letting others read it has affected reality in its own way as well. An example of this is “Cast-off Doll,” which was written after a painful experience. After about a week though, the opposite occurred and I had a number of relationship opportunities as well as new friendships happen in my life.
They hold me in a vise
Unable to awaken
Life continues around me
But here I lay
Locked in dreams
Shell-shocked by the violence
Heart shaken by infidelity and turncoats