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5 Benefits of Reading and Writing Poetry

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. […] That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

Quote from John Keating in “Dead Poets Society”

Poetry is an art form, a way of self-expression, a way to think and feel. And ultimately, poetry is a way of life. Here are five benefits that reading and writing poetry gives you.

1. You develop a better understanding of yourself and those around you

Writing poetry comes down to expressing an inner state in you using words, accurately and elegantly. When you write poems, you unravel deeper and deeper parts of yourself, and also explore different aspects about yourselfs in depth and breadth.

Like our circumstances and our life, so we are constantly going through change. Poetry is a pure form of self-expression, that eventually allows us to express who we have been, who we are and who we will be.

Thus, writing poetry grows your understanding of yourself. In return, reading poetry allows you to grow your understanding of those around you.

2. You process your emotions on a deeper level

As go through our days, we also go through hundreds or thousands of emotions. Sometimes, our emotions get “stuck”. Then they need some attention, to be looked at - to be processed.

Processing our emotions is similar to hygiene in so far that ideally, both need to be done on a regular basis. Writing poetry is a great way to get in touch with, and process, your emotions on a deeper level. Reading poetry on the other hand is a great way to get inspired, and to get in touch with feelings that might have been buried.

3. You sharpen your senses for the imperceptible

The universe is not always based on hard and concrete facts that are obvious to the naked eye.

Poetry is an art that thrives on expressing something without expressing it, to say something without saying it. Poetry speaks directly to the heart, without taking a detour through the mind.

Writing and reading poetry regularly, like a cook sharpening their knife, so you will sharpen your pen and your senses for images, feelings, metaphors analogies and comparisons.

4. You create opportunities to connect with others

Whether you discuss your feelings or impressions of a poem with someone else, or you share your own poetry with the world, you create opportunities to connect with others on a deeper level.

If you read a poem that you felt, it’s one of the greatest gift you can make to go and tell the poet!

Hearing that another human being read something you wrote and connected to it with their soul or heart still is one of most beautiful feelings.

Listening to another poet speaking their authentic truth, their naked emotions and most vulnerable parts of themselves is humbling and inspiring.

5. You start to see the poetry in everything

Diving into the realm of poetry by reading and writing is a journey that brings you to unseen sights and unfelt feelings. You’ll explore new parts of yourself, you’ll get yourself out there and share parts of yourself with the world.

Over time, you start to see the beautiful poetry in every single moment, everywhere. In you, and the universe.

Published 22 Mar 2021

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