is a very simplified adaptation of ancient oral tribal poetry that
was discovered by Justin Spring and Scylla Liscombe in the early
1990s and applied artistically in their creation of multi-voiced
musical poems. It is also an innovative and effective format for
arts programs that help children and adults express their deepest
hopes, loves, fears, and desires in a beautiful healing way.
Justin and Scylla's
creation has been especially fruitful with at-risk children. The term
at-risk children covers a wide and complex range of emotional,
physical, and intellectual challenges; however one common attribute
of such children is an unconscious mind that exists in tremendous
turmoil. This turmoil is often inexpressible, and drives these children
into all sorts of behavior patterns that eventually cause them to
feel isolated and inferior.
Spring & Scylla Liscombe
is a primal form of poetry it taps into the unconscious almost
effortlessly and gives these children a way of expressing their
turmoil in a jointly-created story poem that unfolds in a unique
form. In this sense these poems are very close to the dreams we
have every night.The
difference, however, is that children are awake when SOULSPEAK
poems are formed and this is the nature of true poetry: It is
a marriage of the conscious and unconscious mind.
experience happens, participants feel what poets have felt for
millennia: that they have been given a special message that is
both beautiful and true. The resultant rise in self-esteem is
impactful and, because it is jointly created, there is an automatic
rise in empathy between the partners.