Poetry and Mental Health

Poetry can be a wonderful drug to help with mental health issues, both writing it and reading it. It is a drug without side effects. A good starting point would be Daisy Goodwin’s anthology 101 Poems to Keep you Sane. Haiku books, with lush illustrations, are often very calming. Another good thing to do is to keep a file or notebook of poems you love. I’ve been doing this since I was 13 and got poetry books out of the library; it was a way of keeping ones I could not bear to be without. These days, one can subscribe to poemhunter, get a poem a day, and keep a digital copy of poems special to you.

23rd July sees an event at Macclesfield Heritage centre; Peter Street and I are hosting and guesting at an open mic night, following a workshop we gave at The Mind Centre, where we met some wonderful people who hopefully will be there tomorrow night. There is also an artist in residence working to help people express themselves through art work. Expressing one’s emotions can be difficult to do, but self expression can aid communications, distance difficult emotions, and raise self-esteem.

Whether or not you are coming to the event, I invite anyone to add their own favourite poem which sees them through difficult times, so that we can create a mini-anthology here.



Filed under Education, poetry

3 responses to “Poetry and Mental Health

  1. For bereavement:

    Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature’s first green is gold
    her hardest hue to hold.
    Her early leaf’s a flower;
    But only so an hour.
    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    so dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

    Robert Frost

  2. Jen

    There are holes in the sky where the rain gets in,
    But the holes are very small,
    That’s why rain is thin

  3. Jo Mayers

    Love seeketh not Itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care,
    But for another gives its ease
    And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.

    (from The Clod and the Pebble)


    so much depends

    a red wheel

    glazed with rain

    beside the white

    (William Carlos Williams)