For decades, researchers have studied the effects of expressive writing, such as poetry, on mental and physical health. The results often showed that those who engaged in writing about emotions had better psychological and physical outcomes than those who wrote about neutral topics, according to Karen A. Baikie and Kay Wilhem in an August 2005 issue of Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. Reading and writing poetry fills the soul. Regularly immersing yourself in the form of expression has a range of additional short- and long-term benefits that are too beneficial to ignore.
Benefits of Poetry on the Body and Soul
1. Improved Cognitive Function
Cognition is the act of understanding and acquiring knowledge by experiencing, thinking and sensing. Poetry improves cognitive function because it exposes you to new words and ways to express yourself. It makes you examine a poet’s words to gain an understanding of the idea communicated. If a poem uses meter, you might even find yourself doing a bit of math. Writing poetry strengthens cognitive processes as you search for the right words, find ways to express your thoughts and fine-tune the work’s rhythm. When you write poetry in response to an event that occurred in your life, the art form will help you organize and structure your memories. Writing also helps increase working memory capacity, which also helps improve cognitive processing.
2. Healing Emotional Pain
Losses that stem from a myriad of situations cause some of the most painful emotions that humans experience. These losses breed some of the most inspirational poems. Poetry promotes emotional expression and healing as it makes you explore your feelings. Writing gives you a safe, healthy way to vent and understand your feelings. By putting emotions into words, you confront it, memorialize losses and make your feelings tangible.
3. Increased Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is the knowledge that you have about your feelings, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motives, desires and character. It helps you understand yourself and others, as well as how others perceive you. Poetry is a powerful vehicle in the search for yourself. It improves self-awareness as it puts you in tune with your heart and mind. It helps you be more aware of your actions, emotions and the roots of your problems. Even writing about issues that seem insignificant can help you discover trends in your life that you can change or embrace.
4. Improved Self-Expression
Reading and writing poetry strengthens language and communication skills. It helps you find your voice and communicate your emotions, giving you a new sense of empowerment. Poetry gives you a flexible way to express yourself using powerful tools, such as metaphors, that reflect your internal world. Creative visualization and projective identification allow you to access the healing power of your imagination, creating a lifeline when emotions seem overwhelming. Everyone has memories to face and stories to tell. Writing poetry can help you begin a dialogue with yourself and resolve issues that created roadblocks.
5. Reduced stress
Writing has always been hailed as a cathartic and therapeutic practice with a range of benefits to emotional and personal growth. When used as a therapeutic tool, writing poetry can also reduce stress in the body and mind. Stress increases cortisol, adrenaline and glucose levels in the body. It affects digestion and alters the immune system, putting you at risk for various health problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. Reading and writing poetry helps you reduce stressors in your life and manage the impacts they have on you, which may help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Surrealist Poems about Emotional Breakthroughs and Strength
By Paul Eluard
In a corner agile incest
Circles the virginity of a little dress.
In a corner the sky turned over
To the spines of the storm leaves white balls behind.
In the brightest corner of every eye
We’re expecting the fish of anguish.
In a corner the car of summer
Immobile glorious and forever.
In the light of youth
Lamps lit very late.
The first one shows its breasts that red insects are killing.
By Robert Desnos
It’s strange how you wake sometimes in the middle of the night in the middle of sleep someone has knocked on a door And in the extraordinary city of midnight of half-waking
and half-memory heavy gates clang from street to street
Who is this nocturnal visitor with an unknown face
what does he seek what does he spy
Is he a poor man demanding bread and shelter
Is he a thief is he a bird
Is he a reflection of ourselves in the mirror
Back from a transparent abyss
Trying to re-enter us
Then he realizes that we’ve changed
that the key no longer turns in the lock
Of the mysterious door of bodies
Even if he’s only left us for a few minutes
at the troublesome moment when we put out the light
What does he become then
Where does he wander? does he suffer?
Is this the origin of ghosts?
the origin of dreams?
the birth of regrets?
No longer knock at my door visitor
There’s no room on my hearth or in my heart
For the old images of myself
Perhaps you recognize me
I’ll never know how do you recognize yourself
By André Breton
Less time than it takes to say it, less tears than it takes to die; I’ve taken account of everything, there you have it.
I’ve made a census of the stones, they are as numerous as my fingers and some others;
I’ve distributed some pamphlets to the plants, but not all were willing to accept them.
I’ve kept company with music for a second only and now I no longer know what to think of suicide, for if I ever want to part from myself, the exit is on this side and, I add mischievously, the entrance, the re-entrance is on the other.
You see what you still have to do.
Hours, grief, I don’t keep a reasonable account of them; I’m alone, I look out of the window; there is no passerby, or rather no one passes (underline passes).
You don’t know this man? It’s Mr. Same.
May I introduce Madam
Madam? And their children.
Then I turn back on my steps, my steps turn back too, but I don’t know exactly what they turn back on.
I consult a schedule; the names of the towns have been replaced by the names of people who have been quite close to me.
Shall I go to A, return to B, change at X? Yes, of course I’ll change at X.
Provided I don’t miss the connection with boredom!
There we are: boredom, beautiful parallels, ah! how beautiful the parallels are under God’s perpendicular