Lessons Learned from Poetry

I took a bath the other day, dropping a fizzing bath bomb into the water, redolent of cucumber and green tea, and just soaked, thinking. Sometimes moments like these make all the difference.

I thought about a lot of things, but poetry, more than anything, lingered on my brain. Poems are such a beautiful art form, and like any art, the deeper you dive, the more ways there are to learn and grow.

Poetry taught me about the power of telling a story in a handful of words, and how doing so can bring people closer. It was forming connections between seemingly unrelated topics in poems that that taught me how to forge connections between myself and those very different from me.

Poetry also taught me even deeper lessons. When I first heard some of Guante's poems on consent and rape culture, I finally had words for sexual trauma I endured, and was able to start to heal. Listening to Emi Mahmoud taught me about genocide in a much more visceral way than I'd ever experienced. Poetry allowed me glimpses into lives very different than my own, and in doing so, gave me new lenses to re-examine my own life and connect with others in healthier ways.

I credit poetry, and writing in general, with a large part of my survival.

What poems or poets changed your life and yourself for the better?