If we go back about four and a half thousand years or so, handwritten poems composed the oldest archive of human literature. This literary form’s origins are likely to extend far earlier than the figure previously estimated by modern researchers, during a period where literacy has not yet advanced, and poetry has been handed down through traditional word of mouth and storytelling. The claim that literature has followed humanity for such a prolonged increment of time indicates a firm hold on human consciousness and sentiment.
Unlike music, the mental factors and neurological roots of this form of literature are not well known. However, modern neuroimaging experiments have started to illustrate certain facets of creative vocabulary, particularly the advantages of literary knowledge of comprehension, neurological associations of interpreted poetry effectiveness relative to prose, and the cognitive processes involved in verse formulation.
So just why do so many of us enjoy reading and writing poetry? What exactly is it about this literary practice that is so appealing and pleasurable to the creative human race? This is a perplexing inquiry with a limitless amount of possible subjectivities, in my opinion. However, many poetry fans consume and create the art form to help them sort out their jumbled, unorganized, or repressed thoughts and feelings in a hopefully beneficial and positive manner or expressively practice meaningful and creative vocabulary. But obviously, it is much more than just that.
Poetry helps us manipulate the complexity of words to speak about any of the worst emotions humanity can endure. Poetry lets us mold our grief, our heartbreak, and sometimes even our despair in the format of a stylized stanza, a limerick, or a haiku. It encourages us to face our deepest and darkest thoughts and emotions and offers a simple platform for sharing them.
Many people in the world suffer from mental handicaps and other debilitating conditions. These factors profoundly affect their mental well-being and how they react to and perceive the environment around them. Some of these people struggle to derive purpose, motivation, and meaning in life as increasingly negative thoughts constantly threaten their pre-conceived perceptions and values. To some of these individuals, poetry provides a much-needed escape and consolation to remind them that they are not alone in their feelings, and this form of expression allows them to derive positivity and appreciation in their lives.
Poetry may be a medium for comfort in the sense that it can teleport you away from your reality and into that of another’s creation – a healthy form of escapism. The repetition and highly-stylized pacing and rhyme of the art form offer significant calming and comforting effects that allow us to think and write introspectively on otherwise self-kept aspects of our human condition, helping us to navigate the unclear path of our thoughts to derive a spark of reality about ourselves, our species, or the universe itself.
As a shared experience, poets break down the inner-most barriers of their personal lives, conjuring a positive feeling of openness and clarity that serves as a relatable glimpse into the poet’s deepest introspections, aspirations, and struggles – and many times, people in our community who are struggling with similar problems simply need to hear this to be reminded that we’re all in this struggle together. Many positive and expressively heartfelt poems are chronicled here in Jaime P. Fidler’s book titled “Jaime’s Inspirations: Poems from the Heart and Mind.”
This art form also serves as a powerful vehicle of change and advocacy, as it holds power to influence profound societal rewiring. Through the verbal exchange, attitudes towards many murky and unexplored social topics have opened up positively, allowing for an increased overall awareness towards many of the pressing matters that desperately need to be discussed in our society.