Poetry is about personal experience, perception and reflection as much as it is about writing. People who explore poetry expand the depth and breadth of what they take note of and how they process experience—how they reflect on the world around them. Engaging poetically enhances living authentically in connection with one's self, with others, and with the environment.
Poetry enhances skills in communication and understanding. These skills extend far beyond the realm of poetry into other forms of expression, as well as reading and other venues for understanding and learning.
Poetry builds empathic bridges. Poetry-based writing enables us to explore and give voice to our own experience, as well as to imagine and try on other voices and lives. Reading poetry allows us to hear other voices, some like our own and others quite different. A great pleasure of poetry is recognizing our own experience in the experience of others.
Poetry fosters dialogue and builds community. Poetry gives voice to our hopes, fears, questions, concerns and opinions. Poetry-based writing is an avenue for children, teens, and adults to share thoughts and feelings with others. People in a cooperative workshop venture build connection and a sense of community while stregthening relational skills.
Poetry is a safe haven. We all need to escape from time to time, especially young people facing the challenges of discovering their way and themselves. Poetry is a socially responsible venue for self-expression. Reading and writing poetry is a healthy alternative to risky escape behavior and other actions with potentially counterproductive or harmful consequences.
Poetry is a level playing field. Young people who readily do well in school and those for whom school is a challenge can equally succeed in exploring poetry. Likewise, poetry is equally well suited for adults comfortable expressing themselves and for adults who find self-expression challenging. People for whom English is not their first language often find poetry a comfortable genre to navigate.
Poetry is powerful and playful. Poetry can be a playground and a platform for creativity, intellect, emotion, and spirituality.
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