Poetry writing is an excellent practice for strengthening one’s writing skills. Through poetry writing, we gain command of language, cultivate a robust vocabulary, master literary devices, and learn to work in imagery. And that’s just a small sampling of how poetry improves basic writing skills.
However, poetry has other benefits that are meaningful on a more personal level.
Writing has long been hailed as a deeply therapeutic practice. In fact, all the arts have therapeutic benefits. But poetry imparts a broad range of emotional and intellectual benefits that are useful to personal growth, whether we’re working on self-improvement, emotional or psychological coping and healing, developing relationships, and even furthering our careers — including careers outside of the writing field.
And while all forms of writing, from journaling to storytelling, can be therapeutic, poetry writing offers some unique benefits.
Emotional and Intellectual Benefits of Writing Poetry
Whether you want to stimulate your intellect or foster emotional health and well-being, poetry writing has many benefits to offer:
- Therapeutic: Poetry fosters emotional expression and healing through self-expression and exploration of one’s feelings. It provides a safe way to vent, examine, and understand our feelings.
- Self-awareness: Through raw expression of our thoughts and feelings, poetry can help us become more attuned to what’s going on in our hearts and minds.
- Creative thinking: With its emphasis on symbolism, metaphor, and imagery, poetry writing fosters and promotes creative thinking.
- Connections: Many people write poetry privately, but when poems are shared, they can inspire, move, and honor other people, forging deeper interpersonal connections.
- Catharsis: The act of creation — of making something out of nothing — is a cathartic experience.
- Critical thinking: Through the expression of our thoughts and ideas, poetry pushes us to challenge ourselves intellectually.
- Language and speaking: The practice of poetry strengthens language, writing, and speaking skills.
- Developing perspective, empathy, and world views: Writing poetry often prompts us to look at the world from a variety of perspectives, which fosters empathy and expands one’s world view.
- Cognitive function: Whether we’re searching for the perfect word, working out how to articulate a thought, or fine-tuning the rhythm and meter of a poem, the steps involved in crafting poetry strengthen our cognitive processes.
This is just a sampling of the benefits of writing poetry. Can you think of any other ways that poetry writing is beneficial to your emotional or intellectual well-being? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, and keep writing poetry!
A very interesting perspective of looking into the idea of writing poetry. I myself write poetry so I can understand Melissa ideas.
Good luck with your poetry, Colin!
While I agree with the points you make, I think poetry is valuable in and of itself. One can not, ultimately analyse the value of poetry in purely utilitarian terms. It is valuable in and of itself. Kevin
Kevin, as the post mentions, poetry is valuable in many ways. It would take an entire book to cover them all. This post focused on the benefits of poetry in terms of personal growth and development. You’ll find other articles on this site about the other benefits of poetry.
Poetry writing is more than just tossing a few lines on a page.
If you want to write poetry, read poetry: TS Eliot, Anne Sexton, Rodney Merwin, Emily Dickenson, Robert Lowell.
I cut my teeth on Yeats: “One had a lovely face and two or three had charm, but charm and face were in vain because the mountain grass cannot but keep the form where the mountain hair has lain.”
Mastering the poetic line is essential to mastering the prose line. And I agree with Kevin, poetry is valuable in and of itself.
I recommend finding a poety group online or in your town as well.
Hi Phillip. I appreciate your feedback. Many writers I’ve encountered like to write poetry for personal reasons, often for self-expression or personal growth. They may not want to be published or refine their poetry to the level of some of the master poets you’ve mentioned. Everyone has a right to express themselves and write poetry in any way they want. Having said that, I personally enjoy the journey of improving my skills, studying the masters, etc.
I love poetry a lot and I really think that poetry influences people a lot. I always feel myself calm and even better. Romantic poetry always make my mood better. I wrote a lot of poems and I can surely say a lot of theme were quite well. I stopped writing poetry cause less of time. I’m now working as a writer and I write article I have too. So , there is no time left for writing poetry.
I know what you mean, Julie. When writing becomes a job, we have less time to write the fun stuff!
Excellent article. Poetry is the highest creation of the literary mind. Writing poetry has helped my prose to be condense, wittier and elegant. Writing poetry is using imagination. Writing prose is using logic. I write both poems and prose because I want to live in the world of both logic and imagination.
Poetry is close to my heart as well. Thanks, Simon.
Very true. I’ve written poetry for much of my adult life, although only ever had one published in a University magazine. It definitely helps in personal ways.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Vivienne. Mine are similar 🙂
I love reading poetry, so I am developing the hobby of writing it on my own. I find very rewarding doing so. The more I write, the more I can want to write with all of my limitations. However, I am pressing on.
I feel the same way about writing poetry–it’s so rewarding. I don’t get to write it as often as I’d like but it’s always been one of my favorite forms.
This is great!
I write poetry personally and I run a business where I write poetry/prose for special life events and I would love to share this with my mailing list.
Would you be okay with me sharing this? I will of course credit you and the article.
Of course! You’re welcome to share a link to this article. I’d appreciate that. Thanks so much! I’m glad you liked this post.
Thanks so much! I will certainly share a link.
That’s awesome. Thanks, Biancca.
Really great explanation and very helpful
Glad you found it helpful! Thanks for your comment.
What you said about poetry as therapeutic and used to release emotions and exercise creativity hits me the most since I am also a writing fan. Still, I don’t know so much about poetry. I’m a caregiver here in Puerto Rico, and the kind of work that we have is stressful. All thanks to a friend, I have learned about this Puerto Rican poet, Giannnina Braschi, with good books to read. I wanted to get one to have more glimpses and ideas of the poetry and story she offers. Maybe it will help me improve my writing skill and learn poetry someday.
When I started writing poetry, I knew almost nothing about it. I just put my thoughts and feelings into lyrical language. Over time, I read some poetry and studied it and took workshops. It’s truly an amazing tool for creative self-expression.