Writing poetry is a way to grow emotionally and intellectually, as language articulates and frames experience symbolically. Writing poetry is also a natural process, serving people’s innate need to explain themselves and their lives in the world (a desire that is particularly strong during adolescence). Writing poetry produces a concrete product that is a source of pride and that can be recognized. Writing poetry is a vehicle for expressing altruistic values and philosophical explorations about life’s meaning. And writing poetry is a free and available resource that can be used for self-exploration, gratification, and healing for a lifetime. Here is a fuller list of 16 benefits of writing poetry:
- Poetry provides a cultural context and expressive model that supports openness and emotional honesty.
- People who write poetry feel listened to and not judged.
- People who write poetry exercise insight and sensitivity, sometimes in profound and illuminating ways.
- The act of creating poetry reinforces ego strengths, including realizations about who I am, what I think, what my life has been like, what I want, and what I can accomplish.
- Writing poetry is a natural process for people in pain.
- Writing poetry is a natural process for people who are developing an identity and/or seeking understanding.
- Poetry provides a safe and private experience, with individual control over the outcome.
- Poetry provides a basis for greater interpersonal communication about personal issues and for stronger relationships.
- People who write poetry use a variety of cognitive skills.
- In an appropriately structured program, poetry can be used by individuals with severe emotional difficulties and/or poor cognitive skills.
- Writing a poem is a concrete accomplishment.
- A person’s purpose in writing a poem can be altruistic, educational, inspirational, etc.
- The accomplishment of a poem can be publicly recognized by saving, sharing, reading, posting, publishing, etc.
- The act of creating poetry is joyful and self-reinforcing, even when the content is about a sad or traumatic event.
- People who write poetry can become more in touch with larger issues of life’s meaning and connectedness, developing a spiritual appreciation of life.
- The act of writing a poem is a skill that people can use to help themselves over and over again throughout a lifetime.