Why Poetry Heals

Have you ever read something that made your heart race? Your bones shake? Your skin prickle? Have you ever read something that resonated with you so much that it became a part of you?

That's what poetry does. Well, the right piece anyway.

When I was in high school, and my English classes introduced poetry units, despite all the groans and complaints of the rest of the class, I loved it. I loved the Walt Whitman works that were so difficult to decipher. I loved those Sylvia Plath pieces that could be interpreted in so many different ways. I loved those Maya Angelou poems that put me on top of the world. But most of all, I loved that they all could make me feel something.

We, as humans, are very complicated. We're emotional. We're reserved. We're hard. We're soft. We're loud. We're quiet. We're cold. We're delicate. We're anything and everything. Every singular human is so obscure, that sometimes it can be hard to relate to anyone or anything. And that in itself can be difficult to us growing, developing, and just living. But when you find that poem, or that excerpt from a novel, or even a clipping from a magazine or journal, that seems like it was written entirely and wholly about and for you, it's like everything adds up. It's like everything you've ever questioned about yourself is answered.

I'm a very emotional person. I have a large heart, I wear it on my sleeve, I talk way too much, I'm loud, I'm positive, I'm curious--basically, your class A Sagittarius times a hundred. I'm a lot to handle for most, and half the time I can't even handle myself. And that can be frustrating. But just the other day I stumbled across a poem that described each and every one of these traits I have, these traits that I have struggled with in myself. And reading it... was like a breath of fresh air. It was an aha moment, like "Oh. I'm not the only one." And in this, I found relief.

Relief can be found in writing it, too. I cannot even tell you how many pages I've scribbled on, how many notes I've written in my phone, how many scatterbrained excerpts I have to express my fits of endless emotion. And a great majority of them are shit. But that's not the point of poetry--the point of it is to feel, to feel so much and to get through what you're feeling. I cannot count how many times I've felt so hard or so deeply, that the only thing that releases me from that is writing. Poetry heals. It heals you from the inside out. It's what gets you through things. Whether you're reading it or writing it.

Life gets hard, people get hard, but its little victories like these that make it easier.

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