Some art forms require equipment, supplies and space. But you can write poetry anywhere.
And later in life, writing, reading and reciting poetry can help improve our wellbeing. It can move us beyond sadness; increase our ability to express ourselves and understand others; and provide a bridge for new relationships.
Expressing yourself brings health benefits like improved memory, lower stress and blood pressure, and long-term mood changes.
Plus, poetry offers prime opportunities to appreciate beauty or any emotion, and we could all use more of that.
In the US, April is National Poetry Month. And this April, in particular, is a good time to take a fresh look at poetry and the power it brings.
When we say poetry here, we’re applying the widest definition – not just the highly literary masterpieces we might have studied briefly in school. Poetry is, in fact, found everywhere. Think of your favorite songs, or messages found in greeting cards and advertisements.
As we’re spending more time at home, let’s take a moment to pull some poetry off the bookshelf, or find it online, and focus on the written word. How does reading a poem make you feel? What was the writer trying to share?
Sit down and express yourself in verse. You can follow a format or keep it free form. You can rhyme or not rhyme. Describe how something looks, feels, smells or tastes. Recall a memory. Describe your love…
Just choose each word carefully, and then see if you can think of a better word – more precise, less cliché.
Share your creation with a family member or friend. Or put it in a journal just for you.
It’s the experience that matters.