Poetry has been a healing tool since the shamans, who chanted poetry for the wellbeing of the tribe. In modern times, Freud recognized the genuis of poetry: ‘Not I, but the poet discovered the unconscious,’ he said.

Today, people read and write poetry especially during contemplative periods of their lives, crises, or times of great excitement--when mourning or falling in love.

If you are interested in writing poetry, for healing or selfexpression, try these tips:

● Create some time alone and write for five minutes continuously. Don’t stop to think, write whatever 

comes into your head.

● An hour later, go through what you have written and underline anything interesting.

● If you’re searching for inspiration, pick a colour and list every association that springs to mind.

● Or try thinking about how you would like things to be. Write a list in the form: I wish I had, I wish

I could tell, I wish…

Many people who write poetry spend less time reading it. Find poems and poets who move you and you find that your relationship with them changes over time. Lines from a poem will come into your mind in unexpected moments, with new meanings.

Read poetry aloud to yourself, or to loved ones. Tape a poem to your refrigerator wall or post electronically on your computer screen. Send friends poems by email. You can take time in a dull day to deepen and intensify your appreciation of the ordinary. On a stressful day, you can find a moment of peace.

For editing or writing coaching, contact me at expertediting.org.

Recent Posts in Open Gently

If You've Been Down, Up Your Health Game to Avoid Stroke

Exercise will help your mood and reduce stroke risk.

How to Beat Emotional Eating

Love your body, keep yourself rested, and notice your emotional eating triggers.

Why Some of Us Get Bored—and Some Don't

Needing stimulation isn’t necessarily bad and can keep a marriage strong.

When the Doctor Has Very Bad News

You can help make the conversation go better.

Knitting Is Good For You

It's calming. And you get a sweater.

Loneliness Is Not Caused By A Lack of Social Skills

Eleanor Rigby probably was anxious