Do you write poetry? If you’ve yet to embark on this literary pastime, you’re missing out on the extensive advantages offered to those who take up the poet’s pen.
The process of poetry writing can enhance your sense of humor, unburden your mind in stressful times, and improve your general communication skills. Writing poetry can even sharpen the critical and analytical skills you’ll need to effectively engage with great works of literature—crucial to those pursuing rewarding careers in English literature or cultural analysis.
If you’re planning to enroll in a liberal arts college, read on to learn the four greatest benefits of writing poetry.
1. Writing Poetry Enhances Analytical Skills for Liberal Arts Studies
Liberal arts students are often tasked with analyzing great works of poetry through essays that showcase their unique interpretations of the literature at hand. A student who writes poetry has valuable experience in forming this kind of analytical response.
This is because practicing poetry involves looking at the world in new ways, or reshaping the world through carefully chosen words. Writing poetry incorporates a mental discipline into your life that optimizes your critical thinking abilities, allowing you to approach every topic of study or idea you encounter with a well-developed, multidimensional perspective.
2. Writing Poetry Can Sharpen a Student’s Wit
Liberal arts studies invite students to engage with a variety of literary forms: lyric, narrative, poetry; drama; short story; novel, and more. Poetry in particular, especially the kind that uses rhyme and rhythm, is playful at its core.
Writing poetry can involve fitting together clever rhymes and ideas into a rhythmic meter, like solving a fun literary puzzle. It’s all about playing with words.
By writing poetry you’ll naturally improve your ability to say and write things in clever ways. Practicing this kind of intelligent word play promotes a well-developed, intelligent and witty sense of humor.
3. Poetry Makes Liberal Arts Students Better Writers
Many of history’s greatest writers promoted brevity and clarity as key to their success.
Mark Twain famously wrote “if I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
And George Orwell said: “Any words that don’t contribute meaning to a passage dilute its power. Less is always better. Always.”
Poetry, in most cases, is a shortened form of expression. What may take pages of prose, writers of poetry attempt to do in a few carefully crafted lines. Liberal arts students are encouraged to explore creative endeavours like poetry while studying, because liberal arts colleges know how much writing poetry improves their students’ communication skills.
Even if you’re not naturally poetic, the practice of moulding big ideas into poems by carefully choosing your words can help your writing skills overall—teaching you to “cut the fat” in your writing for shorter word counts, greater clarity, and concision.
4. Poetry as Creative Exercise Offers Therapeutic Benefits
Humanities programs promote healthy creative thinking, by valuing discussions over textbooks, and encouraging original ideas over standardized mores. Writing poetry is a great way to express this kind of thinking in a way that allows emotions, tension, and stress to pour out onto the page.
Many find the experience of writing poetry to be a cathartic and healing creative process. Taking a deeper look at the world outside oneself is also a healthy way to understand our place in the world—offering peace and beauty to those feeling burdened by stress.
At this time of year, natural inspiration abounds! A quick stroll around the block is guaranteed to get your poetry writing experience started. And the right supportive, educational environment can help you on your way.