Join us on Tuesday, November 23 at 6pm PST, via Zoom – no prerequisites, no homework!

“…like a bear stumbling into a beehive or a honey cache: I’m stumbling right into it and getting stuck, and it’s delicious and it’s horrible and I’m in it and it’s not very graceful and it’s very awkward and it’s very painful and yet there’s something inevitable about it.”

leonard cohen, on his writing process

Songs are the touchstones of our culture. We recite them in our heads, play them on our iPods, sing them to our children, carry them in our hearts. We even mark time by songs:  the anthem  of our youth, the song we fell in love to, the first dance song we shared with our newly married child.  The musicians of our generation become the poets we treasure. Although song lyrics and poems have distinctions, they share a kinship that dates back to the Middle Ages with the advent of the troubadour, a poet-singer who traveled to perform in various courts throughout Europe. Soon, the ballad tradition took hold with the singer as storyteller, recording the triumphs and tragedies of  the age.

Whether it’s the historical ballad  from the 16th century “The Death of Queen Jane” or the folk hero ballad of the 19th century “John Henry,” or Nina Simone’s civil-rights protest song Mississippi Goddam, that captures Simone’s response to the racially motivated murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers in Mississippi, and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four black children.

For our next session of Mindful Poetry, we’ll explore how songs and lyrics become the poetry of our life. Please bring in your favorite song lyrics or favorite song for sharing. We’ll listen to songs that read like poetry, Diamonds & Rust by Joan Baez, Dylan’s Chimes of Freedom, and Leonard Cohen’s, Anthem.

Johnny Cash’s poetry comes to life.
Joan Baez singing Diamonds & Rust.

Mindful Poetry meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6pm PT, via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 975 0515 6720 One tap mobile +12532158782,,97505156720# US (Tacoma)

Our Curator and Guide:

Poetry has been a life-long passion and solace for Rebecca Echert-Lennstrom. The beauty and playfulness of verse captured her heart early and became a well-spring of reflection and inspiration. For the last 25 years, she’s been sharing that love with high school students as an English teacher and creative writing instructor, steeped in words and imagery. She’s coached students in the National Poetry Out Loud Competition for ten years, paired with professional poets in the classroom to inspire student writing, and published high school creative writing magazines. This is her second year curating the Mindful Poetry Series as a ministry of the Episcopal Church.

Questions? Please email Sylvia Sepulveda at

Learn more at our Mindful Poetry page.

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Mindful Poetry – The Troubadour