Writing About Trauma

Smita Sahay, Indian poet & writer: “Poetry brings us close to truth without letting it scorch us. How do we process trauma without getting consumed by truth? How do we protect ourselves as we are making sense of this truth? Poetry provides that shield – not distorting, not distancing.”

Dr. Edith Eger, Auschwitz Survivor: “We can choose what the horror teaches us. To become bitter in our grief and fear…Or, to hold on to the childlike part of us, the lively and curious part, the part that is innocent.”

Anne Frank: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrow disappears. My courage is reborn.”

Itzhak Perlman: “Our job is to make music with what remains.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, American poet, Jungian psychoanalyst, post-trauma recovery specialist: “Anything you do from the soulful self will help lighten the burdens of the world. Anything. You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity, can cause to be set in motion…Mend the part of the world that is within your reach.”

Albert Camus: “We must mend what has been torn apart. Make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more…”

Maya Angelou: “Out of this evil, which was a dire kind of evil…I was saved. I was able to save from human thought, human disappointments and triumphs enough to triumph myself.”