The Power of Words: Achieving Catharsis While Mourning Tragedies

Sometimes poetry can help in processing tragedies and traumas.

POETIC REFLECTIONS

Following the recent Buffalo massacre, I had an impassioned conversation via text with my friend Inga, an accomplished vocalist, pianist, and composer who resides in Charleston, South Carolina. Within several minutes of our conversation, her creative side manifested itself in the form of a poem, “It’s Time for Action.”

This poem is a potent reminder of the catharsis that can be achieved while mourning tragedies. Furthermore, it emboldens us to be relentless advocates for humanity.

I am grateful for kindred spirits like Inga who help shine a light in our country to illuminate unity, healing, and equity.


It’s Time for Action!

Inga Agrest


G-d just aids those who aid themselves.

It’s time for action!



The time for thoughts and prayers fails.

It’s time for action!


How many more will last breath gasp?

It’s time for action!


Before the guns lose power’s grasp?

It’s time for action!


For parents who buried their child.

It’s time for action!


For spouses who have lost their mind.

It’s time for action!


For children orphaned, perhaps maimed.

It’s time for action!


For all whose souls have been enflamed.

It’s time for action!


Ms Agrest has a BA in Piano Performance & Composition from the College of Charleston, and MM degree in Opera/Theater Directing from the University of South Carolina. She has been a director, assistant director, and stage manager for shows and operas in Charleston, and Columbia, SC, Los Angeles, and Italy. She has been the musical director with SPROUTS Children Theatre since it came to Charleston. Ms Agrest sang with local opera companies, directed musicals in local theaters, and at the College of Charleston. Ms Agrest has been singing with choirs her entire life, in locations from St. Petersburg, Russia to Charleston, SC. Locally, she has sung with Taylor Festival Choir, Cof C Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, CSOC and CSO Chamber as well as several church choirs, synagogues, and at the Spoleto Festival USA.


Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.