Healing through poetry

I think poetry is the Marmite of the writing world. People seem to either love it or hate it, there is no in-between.

I love poetry, it’s basically written art in my eyes. Buuttttttt I’m pretty terrible at it.

I’ve written it since I discovered what it was. Admittedly, my GSCE english assessment kinda dampened my glow for it. Apparently you can only be told that you’re not good at it so many times before you start to belive it.

However, last year I picked it up again and it’s done wonders for me.


I’ve always found expressing myself difficult. My emotions are in a vault and I’ve lost the key. Sure I can tell people what’s wrong with me, but I could never quite put into worse the pain that hides behind my smile. This is where poetry came in handy.

No matter what my English teacher said, I do not believe poetry always has to have some powerful meaning behind it. Most do, but not all of them. Sometimes poetry is written to vent. The wonderful thing about it is that it doesn’t have to make sense. I think there has been a poem we’ve read and asked what the writer was taking when they wrote it because it makes no sense what so ever.

My poetry is very much like that.

It’s not pretty, it doesn’t flow properly and it most certainly will have you questioning my ability as a writer.

It’s soul purpose for me is to get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper.

Tips on how to write poems to heal.

It’s really easy to be put off even trying to write poetry to heal. Where on earth do you start? You’re all wound up, you’re brain feels like it’s about to explode and you’re at the point where a picture of a cute kitten can send you into a river of tears. It’s hard to even start. Not to mention there might be insecurity there. You could be like me and have been told that your poems are rubbish or writing might not be you’re strong point.

If you’re feeling like this, I want you to remember a few points.

  1. You don’t have to show anyone what you write– You don’t owe anyone to see what you’ve come up with. To be blunt, it’s none of their business. So don’t let the fear of someone reading it and criticizing you for it stop you. You don’t own them anything!
  2. It doesn’t have to make sense– I’m going to share with you a few of my poems later on. These are my ‘better’ ones and to be frank, they don’t make much sense. I don’t mind sharing them because I know the place I was in when I wrote them. I was depressed, anxious or sad (all or three of them), I wasn’t in a right mindset when I wrote them. So of course they’re probably not going to make sense. Please don’t put yourself under pressure to write something amazing, you really don’t need to.
  3. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly written piece– This links in to number two. Don’t feel the need to punctuate. Don’t stress about it. Get your thoughts down on paper and if you feel inclined to at the end, you can punctuate it.
  4. You don’t even have to finish it– Yup you read that right, you don’t even have to finish your poem. There’s been many occasions where I’ve gotten half way through and just stopped. I’ve gotten the things off my chest and simply have no reason to finish it. This is ok, don’t put yourself under pressure to complete it.
  5. You don’t have to keep it– I’ve never been one for getting rid of my work. But once at college, during a particularly stressful period, our tutor got us to do something quite awesome. He asked us to write down our worries on a pice of paper and then burn it (we were in the science lab so it was ok to set things on fire). But it was a nice idea, writing your worries down and then destroying them. If you find that it helps you, feel free to get rid of your poem afterwards. You could burn it, shred it or even rip it up into loads of tiny pieces. It’s completely up to you. I’d say that if you’re worried about someone reading it, then finding a  way destroy to destroy it would be a great idea.

How I write my poems

I’m no expert on how to write them. There’s a reason I’m studying writing at University and using my blog to gain experience. So by no means am I qualified on how to give you a writing lesson. However, what I do offers me a great deal of comfort, so I’m going to share it with you in the hopes that it might help someone.

Step 1

I try to find a word or few words that sum up what I’m currently feeling. In this case the word were TIRED OF THIS. I then write these down on my page, a letter making up a line

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Step 2

I then rack my brains for random words that start with those letters. They’re not chosen with a theme in mind (though you can do that if you want), I just pick random words. Sometimes though, if I get stuck I resort to the internet for inspiration.

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Step 3

I write!

I’m not going to lie, my poems are not really that happy. This one is quite a positive one compared to my usual style, the others are much darker and grizzly to read. But that’s ok, I’m not writing for it to be pretty, I’m writing to get pain out of my head. Writing poems has taught me that it’s ok for my thoughts to be dark and somber, as long as I’m dealing with that darkness and facing it head on.

I’ve found that I end up writing with some sort of theme. It’s not intentional at all, it just seems to happen. I tend to talk about cold objects of water like wild rivers or freezing winter oceans. Broken body parts also make an appearance quite often and the colours dark blue, deep blood-red and grey also pop up lots. I think this is very reflective of what I’m feeling as a person and shouldn’t really be stopped. What I write reflects the deepest parts of my pain that I can’t express any other way. So if you find that you’re like me and your writing is pretty dark, it’s ok. Just let the pain out, it’s ok. If you find that your writing is really positive then that’s ok as well. As long as you’re using what you write as a way to vent, anything is ok.

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So there you go, that’s how I write poems heal. For me, just getting things off my chest allows me the space to start getting better. It’s hard to fill yourself up with positive thoughts when you’re full of negative ones. Sometimes you just need to open up the tap and let the pain flow out.

Happy writing guys!

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