The Poetic Heart: Connecting Humanity

[Justin Jin/Panos Pictures]

What is poetry? When we feel the pangs of love or the sweep of inspiration--the soft chafing of our exposed hearts against the textures of the world--why are we more apt to express ourselves in a poem than in a paragraph? The poetic heart reaches out, seeking expression and connection. It is a heart that tries to cast a bridge between ourselves and the world; and that bridge may be built by words, movement, color or music. These expressions form the core of all human cultures and help define our diversity and uniqueness, as well as showing us our commonality.

The poetic heart, or spirit, is synonymous with the spirit of peace. The loss of this spirit, this sensitivity to life, describes the pathology of our ailing planet, the apparent withering of our humanity. To nurture the poetic spirit in our own lives is to nurture hope for the future.

This issue of the SGI Quarterly celebrates the poetic heart, as it celebrates the 80th birthday this month of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, who has frequently called for the restoration of the poetic sensitivity in us all.