Poetry as therapy is reluctantly a new development in the expressive arts, however it is as old as the first chant sung around the tribal fires of the primitive people. Then it was used by some selected elders to bring healing to the sick ones. The word 'Therapy' came from the Greek 'therapy', meaning to cure through involvement in one of the express arts: dance, song, poetry or drama.
Poetry as a therapy uses the traditional techniques of poetry-rhythm, sound, metaphor etc but the focus is the person writing or performing the poem. When it is used for healing, expression and growth is used as a tool in the hands of the individual.
Of course every genre, civilization, forms have employed the use of the imagination, metaphor, rhythm and other literary devices to teach their stories, fable, drama, passing their information. Poetry in it condensed form, lyrical quality, and flitting thematic preoccupation is a typical evocative form of literature that can command surprising positive responses from people involved irrespective of ages, state and culture.
Poetry is very efficient in self purgation in this modern time when being conducted as a therapy in an interactive process. It releases catharsis, advances self awakening, gives new thoughts and hope to the user.
Poetry therapy goes different ways with the so called highly intellectual and selective course of the English literature class. The essence of it process begins in reaching a poem to the facilitated discussion of the readers-response to that poem. The poem in question may be the reader's piece or someone else's own. When such poem is been talked about thoughtfully by the patient in question to the therapist (who not so necessary), the after effect is always so interesting as one realizes that the user feels more lighter and indignant about his or her present troubling circumstance instead the attention is fixed on solving the poem which is simply related to that of the patients. The puzzle goes around to take care of the player. The same and even more efficient result is seen when it is a poem written by the patient.
This is not using a ruler and an advance dictionary to analyze the meter and ideology of the elite poet who authors the book. This is either an avenue to under-estimate or ignore the depth essence of the book as intended by the writer nor a total neglect of the cosmetic and historical meaning of a poem, it is instead a seeking to discover the reader's own intuitive understanding, connection with the story and application of the meaning to his or her present situation.
In present day poetry for healing, we become doctors to our sicknesses and irresolvable woes; it is a track to our own special contribution to the many recommended solutions we find in our world of lengthy prescriptions. Every tablets of drug, scripture, incantation or therapy must directly or indirectly depend on the will of a living being to be active. This gives us a major part to the certainty of our existence and fulfillment. The poems of our own stories, makes each and every one of us practices of our well-beings and possibilities.
© Uche Uwadinachi