How Poetry Can Heal You


Write a poem. Yes, you can, even if you’ve never written one before! Just sit down with a nice, smooth pen and crispy paper and dip into your heart. Let your thoughts and feelings flow freely. After all, you are not doing this to win a prize. Write about something that has been on your mind for a while: someone you love but cannot express your feelings to? A source of worry at work? The agony of waiting for a medical report? Pour it all out on paper. It doesn’t need to rhyme, as long as you enjoy the cadence of your own words. You’ll find that writing a poem can help clear your head and lift your spirits beautifully.

Paint your poem! Try to sketch joy, loneliness, or the mood of that poem you wrote when you were feeling restless. Chase that thought with your camera. Who knows where it might lead?

Share your verse. Discuss it with others, and you can get valuable feedback on your style and content, besides touching a chord with those who listen. Members of Caferati, a literary club that has members from all walks of life across major cities in India, affirm that their monthly poetry-reading sessions help them bond and refresh.

In Praise of Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry,” Reasons for Moving, 1968

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.
~Dead Poet’s Society

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the nth power.  Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
~Paul Engle, New York Times, 17 February 1957

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them.
~Dennis Gabor

Next page: Some of my favorite poems

Poems I Love

Fun: The delightful American poets Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein write for kids, but no adult can resist their magical verse. Sample this gem by Prelutsy:

“My stomach’s full of butterflies!”
lamented Dora Diller.
Her mother sighed. “That’s no surprise,
you ate a caterpillar!”

Inspirational: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep…” these lines by Robert Frost (Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening) have inspired countless worker bees to toil on, no matter how tough the journey.

Romantic: If you can read Urdu, then it’s the Deewan-e-Ghalib, which will make you smile and cry in turns with its reflections on the pleasurable pain of love. In English, it’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning with verse like, ‘How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” that never fails to tug at the heartstrings.

Calming: Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali.  Each word is strung into this collection like a glittering pearl. ‘The earth laughs in flowers.’ ‘Timid thoughts, do not be afraid of me, I am a poet…’ Leaf through this ageless work and allow yourself to drift away…

Earlier: The Power & Legacy of Poetry


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago


Ankita R.
Ankita Rafiz6 years ago

thank you for the advice

Alicia N.
Alicia N6 years ago

great poems darling. Thanks for the advice.

Paulina L.

writing poems always helps me, and I do love reading some good poetry

andrew h.
- -6 years ago


i like this ultra relaxing and relevant short inspirational video poem from Sri Chinmoy (i dont know much about Sri Chinmoy and his teaching, but I agree with his words here:

"World peace can be achieved
When, in each person,
The power of love
Replaces the love of power

- Sri Chinmoy (from

Susan A.
Susan A6 years ago

Just reading that article and the examples give made my soul purr...and I realize that is a very healing feeling; so point well made!!

Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

I used poetry to process my grief after my friend, later my brother,, then 9/11, just putting the feelings to words helped so much. I kept writing, and last year one got published. Its art, and makes you see the world again, sometimes by helping you hold the view slanted a little so things seem to get a new balance

William K.
William K6 years ago

Words singing the soul's truth like the single chime of a bell casting stillness upon the fray

KARLOLINA G6 years ago

On some days this is how I think:

Ever had a day when you wondered whether is was
worth getting out of bed?
Maybe you can't know for sure what animals are
feeling. But do you believe that little brown birds
get up in the morning and think about how
depressingly grey the sky is?
Do you think they wonder about how much prettier
all the other birds are, and how their voice is
kind of small? And do they maybe decide that they
just won't sing that day because they are so sad
about all of this?
No, they get up and belt out their songs, day
after day.

Marianna B M.