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Is Poetry Just Another Form of Therapy?!

Moira Merryweather takes exception, Angela Dove says 'not just, but definitely'...

...   and they invite YOU to respond!


There are many reasons for writing poetry, and perhaps the reasons that prompt us to do it are immaterial, but surely any form of creativity is partly a healing process.

The psychoanalyst, Hanna Segal said:

"All creation is really re-creation of a once loved and once whole, but now lost and ruined object, a ruined internal world and self”

and more recently Julia Casterton in her book Writing Poetry, says:

"Underneath all the reasons for writing poetry is a particular feeling, one we call delight"

Perhaps poetry can be another form of therapy, not soley, simply and merely, and certainly not a cure all, and certainly it is not a required reason for embarking into poetry.

But  "feeling physically as if the top of my head has just been taken off" could possibly be quite therapeutic, in very small doses of course, and maybe Emily was a bit of a dark horse?  There is a time honoured tradition of poets and other creative artists using, shall we say, chemical components, to enhance the visit of the muse; if Ms. Dickinson achieved that state toute seule, one might say she was both inspired and blessed, as many believe her to be. 

Discovery, transformation, exploration, delight...absolutely, but hopefully mainly communication.  What could be more therapeutic than true and effective communication?


Angela Dove

December  2005 


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