He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
– Roger S. Keyes, Hokusai Says
Podcast art: The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai
The Art is the First Iteration. We take it from there.
The poet reminds us that art is a product of inspiration and interpretation. The artist initiates us with their work and then it’s up to us to add our own meaning.
Hokusai rolls first by offering his art – the most well known is his beautiful woodblock series, Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji. Roger S. Keyes, an art-historian and poet picks up the dice and rolls again by offering an interpretation of Hokusai’s work. What it meant to him. I must say I like the meaning he made of the great Japanese artist’s paintings.
How does Poetry Inspire Action?
Listen as I read and notice what happens with you. Taking the poem in, I want to slow down. I want to pay more attention to my surroundings and to appreciate them. And to appreciate the individual and collective trajectory of our human and non-human lives.
I want to visit a museum and wonder about a piece of art or sculpture. What is the artist saying through their work?
Being impressed and then motivated to new action is a final phase of reading poetry. You can find the Guide to Reading Poetry, along with a copy of this poem. In Episode 18, I interview a colleague who reads David Whyte’s Start Close In and we discuss ways to take in poetry.
What’s the link between Poetry and Leadership?
I have opinions about how reading poetry elevates our leadership and our lives. I think it deepens our experience. If we use the poem as a practice for taking on another person’s perspective like Keyes did, we can increase our empathy and ability to deal with paradox, complexity and conflict.
We can read poetry to build the muscles of our imagination, which can lead to creativity and innovation – highly sought after elements of our work and lives.
A Guide for Reading Poetry:
Using Poetry to Expand Perspective
Great Wave off Kanagawa, a painting from Hokusai:
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