"The poets and philosophers before me discovered the unconscious; what I discovered was the scientific method by which the unconscious mind can be studied."

-- Sigmund Freud

The Restorative Power of Poetry

The therapeutic powers of poetry have already been established over the ages, with the Roman physician Soranus qualifying for the name of the first poetry therapist by prescribing tragedy for his manic patients and comedy for the depressed patients. The important considerations when providing poetry therapy are whether the recipient is ready for it, and whether it is opportune. Appropriately administered poetry therapy is beneficial for diverse people. The elderly comprise a group that is subject to corruption of the body as well as the mind. This decay is often best addressed by persuading them to read or listen to inspiring and motivating poetry. Research shows that creative writing including poetry has a positive impact on functioning at the corporal, emotional and cognitive levels. It is believed that through the written and spoken words, poetry facilitates self discovery, speeding up healing and restoring self esteem and onfidence. There are instances of geriatric patients recovering from bouts of depression and reclaiming normalcy with the beneficial touch of poetry. Writing and reading about the themes of loneliness, loss and death help to connect with others with similar experiences and express themselves freely.

Needless to say, poetry therapy can be provided only by trained personnel. The right poem with its distinct form and shape, images, words, and sounds enables to establish a link between the unconscious and the conscious. It brings forth deeply embedded feelings and emotions, affecting an inner catharsis and eventually endowing the blessed touch of healing and rejuvenation.

Jayasree Ramakrishnan Nair

the artist of the issue is Smeetha Bhoumik, http://www.smeethabhoumik.com/

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