What are the countless benefits of poetry? Writestream Publishing contributor Kristyn Fetterman explains.
Poetry seems to be something people either love or they hate. It tends to stem from their history with poetry. Some of us were tortured with it in school and some of us discovered it in our own way, allowing its true colors to show. Poetry is not all structure and rhythm. Believe it or not, poetry can be fun. It can be a therapeutic experience and it can also help improve your writing.
The thing about poetry is that there is no “wrong” poetry and that is a pretty fantastic thing. It allows you to let loose a little and gives you the freedom to forget the rules. You do not have to follow any sort of rules that you do not feel like following. Yes, I mean, there are rules but the saying “rules are meant to be broken” applies here. Poetry helps you remember that writing is an art form and helps you remember why you fell in love with writing in the first place.
Emotion is the essence of poetry. Focusing on emotion rather than creating a story can help you connect with readers on a deeper level in all of your writing. However, it also helps you to stop aiming your every word towards your potential readers because you do not have to have anyone read it if you choose to keep it private.
The intensely emotional aspect of poetry allows it to also be a deeply therapeutic experience. A true poem is filled to the brim with the emotions of its author. We all need to let our emotions run wild every once in a while and poetry has proven to be a great outlet that can focus those emotions and turn them in to something powerful and beautiful. When writing poetry, you are able to write what you are feeling without the concern of someone reading it. When you are reading poetry, you are able to stumble upon a poem that explains an emotion you are feeling but have not quite been able to put into words.
It is essential for each and every word within a poem to carry weight. Every word has to contribute to the meaning of the poem as a whole. The necessary weight of each word will force you to extend your vocabulary to find the perfect word to fit within your poem and to explain the emotion you are trying to convey. As a writer, extending your vocabulary is always valuable.
Poetry can also help to improve your writing through theme development. Poems are filled with imagery and symbolism. A goal of poetry writing is to enforce the “show, don’t tell” rule of writing. Poetry is not meant to make any obvious statements, which means you cannot just write out the concepts you want to be taken away from any particular poem. You also have to leave room for the poem to be interpreted in many different ways. Doing this will allow you to cultivate themes within your day-to-day writing.
Poetry can be your safe space. It can give you the freedom you desire or the structure you need. You can use it to clear your head and free your soul. It is therapeutic in its emotionality and liberating in its diversity. Poetry may not be for everyone but with all of the benefits, it can’t hurt to try it out. You might just find your new passion.