Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
I love poetry,
How about you?
Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I have enjoyed poetry since I was a toddler. One of my earliest memories is of my aunt reciting this poem (nursery rhyme) to me:
Jelly in a bowl,
Jelly in a dish
Like a little fish!
I couldn’t get enough of it! Nursery rhymes, little poems for kids, help develop early literacy skills. They teach that words have meaning. Words have order. Words have rhythm. Words are fun. Poetry also teaches children creative expression. Early literacy programs in your community are an excellent way to help little ones develop literacy skills in a fun environment.
My love of poetry did not end when I was a toddler. It continued as I made my way through elementary school. I especially enjoyed Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, and Roald Dahl. All these author/poets remain among my favorites today. I’ve enjoyed sharing them with my son as he grows up. One of his favorites is from Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."
As a teen, writing poetry was often very therapeutic for me. The process of writing poetry slowed down the world around me. It allowed me time to organize my thoughts into short lyrical phrases. Poetry provided an escape and it allowed me to explore various facets of my personality. When writing poetry, I could be somebody else. In those teen years, poetry gave me a healthy, creative way to express all that teen angst!
Did you know that Biblio/Poetry Therapy is a creative arts therapy used to treat depression and anxiety? It helps the writer process his/her thoughts. Reading poetry is also therapeutic. For those who have difficulty expressing themselves, reading poetry can give comfort. It can shine a light on deep thoughts and feelings, making the reader feel less alone.
Regrettably, I remember writing a poem and giving it to a boyfriend after he broke up with me. I suppose I thought that it would help him to understand how miserable I was without him. I thought it would prompt a reconciliation. I was wrong! After feeling terribly sad for a while, I moved on – I moved on to feeling angry! So what did I do? I channeled all that anger into a poem (of course!). This time I kept that poem to myself. Later I lit it on fire. It was cathartic and helped me to see past the break up. Please do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting lighting things on fire. I am suggesting that poetry can be effective for releasing thoughts and feelings when you are a little stuck.
As an adult, my days of poetry writing have dwindled. “Adulting” consumes most of my time these days. Every now and then, I write poems as a gift to friends and family for special occasions. I don’t get a chance to read much poetry these days either.
I recently learned about Poetry Slam. I’m a little late to the party on this one. Poetry Slam began in 1984. It is a competition in which poets perform original work and it was designed to bring poetry to a wider audience. It can be highly entertaining. Check out this incredibly creative and entertaining Poetry Slam by Harry Baker. He is a mathematician and poet. You will not be disappointed!
Poetry offers something for everyone. I hope you are inspired to explore all that poetry has to offer Take a look at these links:
Community Literacy Coordinator
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy – Salmo