Poetry as self-care

Writing poetry can be a simple and satisfying tool to add to your self-care routine. You don’t need to have any training, just the desire to try something new with the thoughts you already have. 

You can use poetry to work through grief, to develop self-awareness, and to process the changes in your life. 
Emily Torres explains it this way, “Poetry has become one of the ways I check in on myself. Whenever my mind is racing, I find it clarifying and cathartic to hammer out a few lines on my typewriter or scrawl out a verse on whatever paper is handy. It’s simultaneously easier than you think, and more confronting than you’d expect.”

Poetry structure?

Do you need to write poetry in a certain way? No, you can write your poetry anyway that moves you. If you want to start with guidelines for writing, then refer to this article (linked below), 9 different types of poetry. You may not know what they’re called, but you might already be familiar with how they sound, like iambic pentameter, which is “…a line of writing that consists of ten syllables in a specific pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, or a short syllable followed by a long syllable.” 

Shakespeares sonnet number 18: 

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow'st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Visual structure

You might want to try writing a poem based on how it looks visually on the page (refer to the image of Poetry for July 1950). EE Cummings often wrote poems without structure, without punctuation, and with made up words. And, he is often considered one of the greatest American poets of the 20th century.   

Try This

Follow this guide by Emily Torres - https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/how-to-write-poetry

  1. Set up your writing area
  2. Free write
  3. Focus on physical things
  4. Function over form, but form works too
  5. Self Editing (or not)
  6. Make it real

Connect with us:

The C.A.R.E. Program team would love to connect with you! 


Request caregiver resources

Contact our family caregiver team


Cookie Consent

We use cookies to improve your web experience. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. Read our Internet Privacy Statement to learn what information we collect and how we use it.

Accept All Cookies