How Poetry Can Inspire and Mold Personalities #NationalPoetryMonth

Poetry inspires and ennobles us

Poetry reflects life in all its hues; it is the choice of words, which makes a difference to the thoughts and sentiments that poets share. It speaks of countless experiences and puts forward the essence of life, if you pay attention to the images through which poets communicate.

Poetry enables us to understand the finer nuances of life; it nurtures the most beautiful emotions of love, trust, acceptance and empathy. A poet teaches without forcing any philosophy as he just shares his reflections succinctly, leaving the rest to the imagination and understanding of the readers.

Poetry develops creativity, flexibility, interpretational skills and critical ability effortlessly. It makes you intuitive, only if you read it without any prejudices, learn to appreciate it and read it carefully.

Let me share some verses that have enriched my personality:

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?”

These lines from ‘Leisure’ by W.H.Davies have always stayed with me, a constant reminder to get down from the whirlwind of life and look at the flowers, the bees, the butterflies and dawn breaking at the horizon.

William Wordsworth’s wisdom made me understand that life is more than just earning and spending money. 
“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” His poetry inspires us to lead a meaningful life and respect the spiritual link that connects man with nature and his supreme being.

John Keats defined beauty for me and nurtured my love for beautiful things that are mentioned in his poem ‘Endymion.’
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness;…but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Emily Dickinson’s poem helps us understand success:
“Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.”

Each line of my all time favorite poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling teaches profound lessons, 
“If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;”… It encourages us to take pride in ourselves, develop patience, stay upright in the midst of lies, don’t get agitated by others’ demeanor, follow your dreams but don’t let dreams master you and avoid pretentions.

‘I am the People, the Mob’ by Carl Sandburg inspires us to rise against exploitation and social injustice. Look at his passionate appeal:
“When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.”

Walter D. Wintle’s poem ‘Thinking has stood by me in the darkest moments, exuding light on the paths of life – a reminder that life’s battles are won by “the man who thinks he can.”
 “If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost a cinch – you won’t.”

 ‘Last Ride Together’ by Robert Browning inspires optimism.

‘The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost exhorts us not to regret the choices we make.

‘The Man He Killed’ by Thomas Hardy questions the futility of war, in which soldiers have to kill strangers just because he “Was out of work…” and happened to join infantry.

The Little Black Boy by William Blake says a lot with just one verse: “I am black, but Oh! my soul is white,”

I have mentioned just a few poems that have made a mark on my personality. Thank you for reading this. Do you have a poem in mind that has inspired you or conveyed a strong message? Please share your thoughts.

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Balroop Singh.

48 thoughts on “How Poetry Can Inspire and Mold Personalities #NationalPoetryMonth

  1. “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: ” – this is one line that always stayed with me from the day I read it and shaped my view of nature.
    Nice piece of writing Balroop.

    1. Thank you Pranab. All those excerpts that I have shared have stayed with me and there are many more, which I had shared last year in one such post. Poetry is like songs we hum for years!

  2. I loved all your examples Balroop and how they inspired you. A Road Not Taken remains one of my favorites. I recieved a printed copy as a gift that I enjoy every day now. Great post!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Denise. My favorite has been ‘If,’ though it was written for his son but the messages have universal appeal. I bless the poet each time I read it even now.

  3. I love the beauty and flow of your introduction, it states so strongly what poetry stands for.
    As to the favourite quotes you definitely have some of mine there.
    Who can’t love ‘ Leisure ‘ by W.H. Davies … or ” “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
    Its loveliness increases; it will never “‘by Keats.
    As to Kiplings “If ” I have a print on the wall and it has given me strength many times.

    That will have to do for now. Thank you Balroop.


    1. Thank you Miriam for your lovely words about the introduction. I am pleased to note that our favorites match! I am sure you are going to like ‘I Am The people, the Mob’ too. I have quoted the ending lines but the beginning is beautiful too.

  4. “A poet teaches without forcing any philosophy as he just shares his reflections succinctly, leaving the rest to the imagination and understanding of the readers.” Love this.

    As for what kind of poetry I like to read, oh, that field is vast. From Sharon Olds to Naomi Shihab Nye; from Rumi to Ryokan, Juliet Kono to Kahlil Gibran or Rilke, Mary Oliver or simply what I hear in my own head, I guess reading tastes run similar to what I write about; poems that are soulful, poems about about nature, but also how nature reflects in our own human nature.

    Aloha and blessings, Balroop. 😘🌹🌺

  5. I enjoyed reading this post, considering the fact that I’m not “poetry inclined” person, I enjoyed reading the lines composed by the classic poets. I agree that poetry is about creativity and expression.

    As I have mentioned before these classic and famous poets were in a different league and one can notice the difference with the words they composed.

    1. These poets did belong to a different era but have shared some universal values we cherish…love for nature, need to enjoy leisure, not getting carried away by the materialistic world, value success and above all trust yourself even when people doubt you! I think you enjoyed reading this post due to these timeless messages. Thank you arv for sharing your views. Have a wonderful day.

  6. What a wonderful post on the value and lessons learned from poetry! I really love this Balroop. Thank you so much for posting this! I would say one of my favorites is “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas, and I love the dark reality of some of the poems of Sylvia Plath.

    1. Thank you for sharing your favorite poem Walt, I had not read it. This seems to be your favorite now but there must be some more…
      How perspectives change with time!
      I could never like dark poetry though we all have to tread the dark alleys of life at some stage of life. Many thanks for coming over to share your thoughts. Have a nice weekend.

  7. I love tht poetry offers a different way to communicate for those who need it. Words can be shallow and trite. Poetry too but not in accomplished hands.

    1. I agree Jacqui, some modern poetry is meaningless. These classic excerpts also inspire us to write in a responsible manner. Thanks for making an honest observation.

  8. Balroop, I love this post!😀 Your reflections on poetry leave me musing about the form and your suggestions are a joy to read! You quote some of my favourites including the iconic ‘If’ as well as some new to me and ones I want to explore further. One poem that has always stayed with me is John Donne’s Good-Morrow’ and the lines:

    And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
    Which watch not one another out of fear;
    For love, all love of other sights controls,
    And makes one little room an everywhere’

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend and always a joy to read your posts … always learning and sharing the magic of poetry! ❤️

    1. Thank you Annika for sharing John Donne’s meaningful poetry, these lines say a lot so succinctly and that is the beauty of poetry. I am glad you liked my selections though I have not mentioned many lesser known ones. ‘If’ is indeed iconic and its messages can never become redundant.

  9. Thanks to the good offices of Walt Page ~The Tennessee Poet~ I found your blog, delighted with the find my taste is eclectic, a poem I enjoy returning often to is A Goodnight by William Carlos Williams each time I read it depending on the frame of mind it becomes a totally different poem.

    1. Thank you for coming over to read this post Chris, I am delighted that you liked it. Many thanks for sharing your favorite poem, I like it.

  10. A most well written post. It really resonated with me. Love the selection of poets here, too, dear Balroop. Thanks for sharing. Love and best wishes 😘👋

  11. All the poems were magnificent and had a deep meaning. I liked the
    ‘A thing of beauty is joy forever ‘ by keats. It really leave Mark on the beauty of nature and describe true beauty to human.

  12. A lot of things revolving around special events in my life inspire me. So I aim to be writing about what makes me. I want to get my story out there. My brother and best friend have encouraged me to write so I wrote my first post yesterday!! If you could find the time, please check it out.

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