7 Benefits Of Writing Poetry
Poetry helps ease the burden of life in numerous ways, maybe even save one.
In the movie Dead poets Society, the protagonist, Mr Keating quotes Walt Whitman,
“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: You are here. Life exists and identity. The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” He pauses and looks at the hopeful and bewildered eyes of his students. And he asks, “what will your verse be?”
If you’re not someone who regularly writes or reads poetry, the benefits of writing one might seem few to none to you. And the greatest poem written might look like a nonsensical word salad with no value to your life. But as is the case with most art forms, poetry helps ease the burden of life in numerous ways, maybe even save one. Here are a few benefits of writing poetry.
1. A Polaroid of the past and the future
Poetry allows you to paint pictures with words. Through detailed expression and the power of words, you can perfectly describe a past event or one you wish to see in the future. Poetry is a portal through which you can travel to places you’ve never been. A poem written in a 19th-century ballroom or train has the power to paint a vivid picture of the time. It can also capture seemingly mundane moments of everyday life with extraordinary beauty. Angela Baker, a literary critic, describes poetry as “one of the best ways to preserve some of the most important moments in your life. When you turn them into poetry, they’ll forever remain alive and available for you to relive them.”
2. A sharper brain
In order to write a good poem, one must be aware of symbolism, rhymes, patterns, and other literary devices. This stretches your cognitive function. Poetry also keeps your brain active as you rummage through thousands of words until you find the perfect fit. Furthermore, your memory and focus will benefit a great deal.
3. Knowing thy self
Developing greater self-awareness is one of the major benefits of writing poetry. To grow as a person and work on your weaknesses while using your strengths as an advantage, you need to know yourself. Poetry helps you process your feelings, emotions, and ideas. You develop a stronger sense of self-awareness through this honest way of finding out who you are.
4. Healing from the wounds you don’t talk about
Many have preached about the healing power of poetry. Some of the best poems we learn and recite today are fruits of a mind healing from grief or other emotional pain. As you write about what hurts, it hurts less. Poetry creates a judgment-free space in which you can write your deepest and darkest secrets as well as hidden thoughts and feelings. Your honesty is unrestricted when you put your thoughts on paper. The healing poetry offers a grieving person the empathy of a quiet listener and therapy to process emotions.
5. Reflection and expression
Poetry allows for great reflection on moments in your life. You can work through a particularly difficult event while writing about it. You can put your complex thoughts and feelings into words and reflect on them. This gives you a sense of clarity and a better perspective. Furthermore, poetry is one of the best forms of self-expression. Your identity is extremely nuanced and complicated to put into a single poem, but it can be candidly portrayed. Your complex thoughts can go out into the world as they are. Through poetry, you can express yourself without having to write a memoir.
As humans, we strive for meaningful connections in life. We want to know that we are loved, cared for, and not alone. Poetry builds a bridge of vulnerability and relatability. We can connect with people through a shared experience or thought.
7. Hope and Purpose
Hope and purpose are poetic in themselves. They are beautiful but difficult to grasp oftentimes. Writing poems allows you to extend hope to others. You can write about social justice, romantic partners, or the apple in your backyard. As long as you write about being human, people can find hope in your poems. Numerous people have credited several poems as their reason to stay alive or enjoy life. This is easily understandable given that in the depths of despair, we need a convincing reason to step out, and a hand to hold on to while we try. Poetry allows us to extend our helping hand. The poem you wrote while you felt purposeless can help the desperate find purpose. The poem you wrote while feeling lonely can help another feel understood. Feeling and knowing that we are not alone is a great source of hope. It helps one want to live and contribute a verse, but you can only uncover the full extent of its power once you put pen to paper and scribble away.