Poetry: Good for Your State of Mind
Poetry is a unique and creative art form that allows us to express and share aspects of our mental lives. We can convey our thoughts and emotions, or experience those of another writer, with a depth and insight that go far beyond simple description.
Someone might say to you, for example, that she feels "very depressed." But if she were to craft a poetic treatment of those feelings, she might find herself using images of bleak winters and barren landscapes, which could then perhaps suggest abandoned hopes and lost opportunities to the reader.
I like to hear poetry - atleast sometimes - I pause from my other activities and allow myself to be briefly transported into the world of the words, where they have been selected and organized just right by the poet to convey feelings and shared symbols from one mind to another. Poems are about compression too: I often marvel at how so few words can express so much emotion.
But don't think that reading or writing poetry will make you depressed. The creative experience of writing poetry is a type of self-reflection, and some therapists describe poetry writing as a recovery tool. In fact, there are even poetry therapy groups where the participants explore their reactions to poems and follow exercises in writing new ones.
No matter what you happen to be feeling, you can try expressing a moment's moods and sensations creatively, using combinations of words. Just start writing — don't think too hard while you're scribbling and try not to censor or stifle what is becoming visible on the paper. After you've opened the floodgates, and gotten all the raw material down on paper, then's the time to unleash your inner editor.
You might learn something about yourself and, if you let others read what you've written, they'll learn more about you.
And if you're feeling particularly daring, share a poem right here in the comments section.