The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Psychology of Poem Making

From the book “Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem Making”:

Poem making helps put your attention in the present moment. Line by Line, breath by breath, moment by moment, you allow creative rhythms, sounds, feelings and insights to come. You learn to distinguish between fresh insight and an old conclusion when considering an answer to a problem you face. The openness to the moment which poem-making encourages can help you discover answers you had no idea were there. ~~ pages 261-262

When we lose our self-conscious shame and fears we get in the NOW. Psychologists call it flow athletes call it being in the zone. It’s an ecstatic beauty where everything connects and flows. Here’s the description below. This is the state I’ve been in. This is the psychology of poem making.

Flow is a term used in psychology to mean the mental state of a person completely immersed in an activity. It is an altered state of consciousness. The person is fully focused, performing actively and successfully. The situation is widely recognised by phrases like in the zone ,[1] in the bubble , on the ball , in the moment , wired in , in the groove . The performer almost loses touch with their surroundings: phrases like “lost to the world” reflect this mental absorption.

The term flow was given to this experience by a psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He said it was completely focused motivation. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.[2] Flow is also described as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one’s emotions.

This is the ecstasy of being in the presence of God during worship.


The cure for self-conscious shame, guilt, fear

“Jesus tells us we must leave the self altogether-yield it, deny it, refuse it, lose it. Thus only shall we save it… The self is given us that we may sacrifice it. It is ours in order that we, like Christ, may have something to offer- not that we should torment it, but that we should deny it; not that we should cross it, but that we should abandon it utterly.”

― George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons

Athletes refer to it as “being in the zone,” religious mystics as being in “ecstasy,” artists and musicians as “aesthetic rapture.”