Stuart Low Trust actively encourages participants to send in their poetry to our Poetry Corner.
No experience needed! Beginner’s very welcome. We encourage our participants to express themselves through poetry. Then to share their words on SLT’s website ‘Poetry Corner’ with others.
So do reach for a pen and paper and let your thoughts and emotions flow.
How do I start?
If you are not sure how to start, SLT’s very own Neal Zetter (Poet, Author and Entertainer), our Friday presenter and Saturday workshop facilitator, shares his thoughts and poetry writing tips in his blog here.
Neal has kindly written the poem below especially for SLT participants and this blog. You can find out more about Neal and his other works here.
POETRY IS – By Neal Zetter
Poetry is anything you want it to be
It can be funny
It can be sad
Or both at the same time
It can be for sharing with a wider audience
Or for hiding under the bed, never to be discovered
It can be about real things, situations and events
Or can spring from a totally imagined world inside your head
It can rhyme, all the time – that’s fine ?
But it doesn’t have to
Poetry is your thoughts, opinions, feelings, nightmares and dreams
Poetry is self-expression
Poetry is free from rules
Poetry is anything you want it to be
The Power of Poetry
Poetry is another way to express ourselves and this can be very powerful and releasing. Writing and sharing poetry, reading poetry aloud, can challenge the stigma of mental health, through conversation and expression.
Mental health charity MindWise explore the power of poetry in our modern-day society:
Poetry as a form of comfort: Reading poetry can transport us out of our own world and into someone else’s. There is something very soothing and comforting about the repetition and rhyme; it can be a source of great comfort and relaxation. Writing poetry can help us get to the heart of thoughts or feelings of our own we don’t quite understand, or those that we want others to better understand if we choose to share. It can help us navigate these difficult areas, to find an essence of truth about ourselves, humankind, and even the world itself.
Poetry as a shared experience: Poetry allows us to express a degree of vulnerability in writing our deepest thoughts, desires and struggles. In letting an audience in, the door is opened to allow for a deep connection with the reader. Finding comfort in the knowledge of a shared pain or emotion – whether it is through poetry, prose, or song lyrics, can help us put words to our own difficulties and experiences.
Poetry as a platform for change: While poetry can be a source of comfort, it can also be a powerful tool for societal change. Through the written or spoken word, important topics like mental health can be more easily shared. Spreading these messages helps to educate and inform those who might not understand it and encourages more open and honest conversations about the subject.
Writing Poetry provides a distraction from daily life and offers time for self-reflection.
Poetry allows us to use language to talk about difficult or complex feelings. It can support our emotions, thoughts and mood through its ‘structural’ form, giving us an opportunity to express ourselves in a different way.
“Poetry can provide comfort and boost mood during periods of stress, trauma and grief. Its powerful combination of words, metaphor and meter help us better express ourselves and make sense of the world and our place in it.
Using poetry to find our voice can open up new ways of expressing ourselves that cannot be traversed with everyday words, and open up ways to heal and restore us particularly in times of stress.”
– Arts and Mind Lab
How to send SLT your poetry for the website
Please add your poetry to the ‘comments’ section below, share them on our social media pages using the hashtags #SLT and #AVoiceforMentalHealth, or email them to email@example.com
If you wish for them to remain anonymous, SLT can add them on your behalf.
“I read and write poetry, mostly daily. It makes me feel many varied feelings. It’s part of my life. For many years it has supported my wellbeing. It’s learning about language and all aspects of humanity.
Writing and reading is a source of expression and communication. If facilitated in as egalitarian way as possible, it brings co-operation. It requires a level of trust but then so does any group activity.”
– SLT participant