How Poetry Makes Us Positive Minded

Positive poetry

If you are a poetry lover, you must be familiar with the positive power that a poem can provide us. I have quoted many inspiring lines from the famous poets in one of my earlier posts. ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling being my favorite.

Poetry soothes the writer as well as the reader.

Recently I stumbled across this gem, an outstanding poem written in 1932. It demonstrates an incredible power to assuage loss and anguish. Though the poet had written it for her friend who could not visit her mother’s grave due to disturbing times, its popular appeal can be judged from the fact that it was read by the father of a young soldier, who had been killed by a bomb in Northen Ireland.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die. – Mary  Elizabeth Frye

The poem conjures a thousand images of nature to lift the gloomy mood, which fades away in the wake of so much positivity. Read it twice and you would be transported into a different world.

Those who consider reading or writing a poem a difficult task have probably not been introduced to poetry at an impressionable stage of life when emotions and sensitivities are forming.

It is just like book love; some of us are passionate readers while many people don’t care for a book. I know many persons who have not read a single book in their life. When you try to understand the reasons behind this habit, most of the times you would discover that they had no exposure to reading in their childhood.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.” – Walt Whitman 

From Rumi to Rudyard Kipling to Maya Angelou, poetry has always evoked images of romanticism, realism and Sufism and we get carried away with those images depending on the phase of our life.

Poetry can convey the emotions most succinctly:

“Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs” – William Shakespeare

A renowned Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib says, “Love is a river of fire and you have to drown in it to reach it.” Love could perish you, that’s what Ghalib’s quote is trying to convey through just one couplet and he is talking about romantic love.Poetry of earth

Poetry holds the most profound thoughts:

“The poetry of the earth is never dead,” John Keats has compressed all pervading beauty of nature and its subtle sounds just within one line.

Poetry clasps our sweetest and saddest thoughts:

We look before and after,
And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. – P.B. Shelley

Poetry carries the wisdom of the world; much can be learnt from it as every aspect of life is depicted through it:

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.” – William Blake

Poetry inspires us to look at the beauty around us:IMG_3370

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
– Robert Frost

I have picked up those lines of poetry, which are very easy to understand. In vain do we get scared by this splendid genre of literature, which has been called “the crown of literature.”

Have you felt the positive power of poetry?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.