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.

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