There’s something about poetry that lends itself to the human condition. Perhaps it’s poetry’s unapologetic free form that eases us out of a stressful regiment, or the rhythmic repetition of a rhyming scheme that soothes a chaotic mind. No matter what it is, poetry is known to be a particularly therapeutic form of literature, both in reading and writing it. Writing and reading poetry helps people cope with unbearable amounts of pain – heartbreak, loss, homesickness, disasters. Scientific studies have actually concluded that writing about your emotions helps you process them better. Even listening to spoken word poetry can be beneficial to your emotional wellbeing. It helps you feel, and it helps you let go.
Personally, I turn to poetry when I feel sad, alone, uninspired, or just completely lost. To me (and many others), poetry is soul food. It lifts me up, reminds me that the world is beautiful and full of opportunity. And it reminds me that it is okay to feel pain. It’s okay to feel broken. It’s okay to feel defeated.
Whether you’re heartbroken, or unmotivated, anxious, depressed, recovering from a great loss, or just in need of some direction, here are a few poems to feed your soul and soothe your heart.
1. "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry
2. "The Art of Losing" by Elizabeth Bishop
3. "Without Music and "My Dead Friends" by Marie Howe
4. "The Type" by Sarah Kay
5. "Lost Things" by Lang Leave
6. "Dive for Dreams" by E.E. Cummings
7. "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost
8. "Instructions For A Bad Day" by Shane Koyczan
9. "After a While" by Veronica A. Shoffstall
10. "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver