It is not a secret that poetry plays a significant role in my life. I love reading and writing poems. But there is more to it, trust me. My relationship with the poetic word is profound yet simple at the same time. In this post, I would like to tell you about it, and I would also like to show you why it is worth inviting poetry into your life.
Poetry can save your life
Reading poetry is nutritious for our mental health: it offers relaxation and enjoyment and helps with reducing stress, to say the least. It’s a fact. But can it save lives? Yes, yes, it can.
Once I found myself in a grey agglomeration of broken dreams, roaming through its sleepy streets, watching ghost trams carrying ghost people: a speechless spectre, a mere spectator of my own life.
I made a mistake. I chose not to chase my heart’s desire: to study in Kraków, and I settled for another university in another town. Was it a lack of confidence? A lack of self-believe? Was it common sense or following somebody else’s footsteps? I am not sure. But I was not happy.
Not only was I in the wrong place, to which I did not belong, yet again, but also I struggled. I struggled with a heavy cloud of the deepest and darkest emotions growing in me since my teenage years. It was getting more extensive than ever, consuming the light of my soul.
One day I stumbled across a library. I felt drawn to a poetry section, where I found a book of letters written by my favourite Polish poet Halina Poświtowska. Although not poetry as such, the letters were as poetic as her poems. I gobbled them up quickly, reading her poems again and again, too. And I felt less lonely. Someone else there struggled like me—somebody with similar sensitivity and a similar soul. She was brave and determined to make her way (but that is a story for a different post). And she did. And so did I. Poświtowska’s poetry gave me the strength I needed to change my circumstances. I gave up the university I did not like and started crafting my life as I wanted. If it weren’t for Poświatowska and her poems, I would not be here – living a happy and fulfilled life.
Never underestimate the power of poetry. Finding and connecting with the right poem/poet can literally turn your life around. It can inspire you to make a life-changing decision, nudge you to take action and process whatever is going on in your life or simply offer you a getaway from stress, being a balm for your wounded soul.
Poetry helps to express your feelings
Poetry is as old as humankind. Some say it precedes the written word, being present in our lives since our journey here on Earth began. People sang, chanted, and told stories using the rhythms of poetic expression without even realising they were doing it. Maybe they started with simple grunting to let their emotions out: the joys, hopes, fears and anger, the amazement at the sunset or the despair of losing a loved one. Maybe, later, they used some simple words to picture a memorable moment, to voice their gratitude, love, or disappointment. With the development of writing, people could capture the ephemeral aspect of their lives and souls on paper. And then it got unnecessarily complicated and exclusive only to a group of chosen ones, possessing some mystical ability to rhyme. People stopped believing they could produce poems because they weren’t talented or smart enough. Sounds familiar, right? But it is simply not true. If you tap into your primal, wild soul and let yourself express whatever it is your Innerself is feeling and let your hand guide the pen, and your voice lead the words, you can surprise yourself and write/sing/say the most beautiful poem/song/verses you wouldn’t think you could.
Poetry is a terrific tool for healing emotional pain, processing the gamut of feelings, and expressing oneself creatively. I have been writing poetry since I was a little girl. The journey my poetry has taken is incredible. I started with writing about horses jumping around the field and drinking water from a bucket through the dark sonnets, simultaneously concealing and revealing my deepest sorrows to poems praising the beauty of Mother Nature, sacred feminine and simple joys of life.
Sometimes, when I feel frazzled, anxious and lost, I write a poem about my feminine power to remind me I have all I need to get through difficult times, or I rage in the poem, allowing anger to leave my body, soul and mind. I can burn the poem to let it go or leave it as a memento of my feelings. I can choose. Every emotion is essential, and I can decide what I do with it. So can you.
Letting yourself into a relaxed state, connecting with your Inner feelings and pouring them into paper is liberating. Without worrying about the form or literary devices, just for the pure joy of playing with the words, writing a poem about your life, thoughts, and feelings is healing, powerful and beautiful.
Poetry helps to capture and memorise fleeting moments
Poetry is how I capture a mosaic of feelings and moments and give them a forever life on paper. Sometimes I am mesmerised by a sunbeam flickering through tree branches on an autumn morning. It makes me feel calm and relaxed, so I write a few verses about it to remember this blissful state. The poem I have written helps me to conjure up that feeling every time I read it. Be it on a rainy day or when I am feeling low.
Sometimes I feel grateful for having my son and my husband in my life, so I write a poem always to remember the beautiful time we had walking through the forest together.
Sometimes, I tap into my inner power, my wild, primal self, and I let her guide me and teach me, showing me, through a poem, what the answer to my question is. Sometimes it is easier to see the solution when it is captured on paper instead of being locked in unconsciousness.
Both reading and writing poetry makes me fully present and aware of my surroundings and reactions to what is happening outside and inside me. It teaches me to stop and inhale the light of my world, of this world. It also shows me how to embrace and exhale the darkness of my world, of this world. I believe if you invite poetry into your life, it will guide you to do so, too. And more.
That is why having poetry in your life is important.
If you fancy reading some of my poems, here they are for you https://birkiverse.com/category/poems/