Let me come clean from the start. Yes, I’m a poet. No, I’m not biased.
Before realizing that I had some verses and rhymes stuck in my veins, I was—and still am—a poetry lover.
Before being a poetry lover? I was definitely missing out.
Don’t make my same mistake.
1. Reading poetry is an enriching sensorial experience
Poetry awakens all of your senses.
It makes you see places so vividly as if you were actually there, staring at a lonely owl or gazing at a busy street from a coffee shop window.
You can hear the horn of a departing ship or a ticking clock in a lonely room.
Taste fresh raspberries or someone else’s skin.
Smell freshly cut grass and ginger tea.
Feel the soil under your bare feet as you run down a foggy moor.
Poetry can open lots of different windows onto worlds you had never even imagined. And the best thing? They’ll always be there for you to return to.
2. You’ll get a lot of ‘hey, they’re reading my mind’ moments
You know how, sometimes, you think that you’re the only person in the world to feel that way and that nobody could ever understand you?
Someone out there, on the opposite side of the world or through the thick mists of time, has thought that exact same thing.
Even better: they wrote about it.
3. It will help you understand others, too
It goes both ways. Just like it makes you feel understood, poetry helps you consider things from other people’s points of view, too.
Well, how could you not? After all, you’ve just read someone’s rawest, more vulnerable thoughts.
But this goes beyond the poet!
Poetry is about empathy, and I genuinely believe that no poetry lover could ever lack it.
4. Heck yeah, you might even fall in love with a poet!
Still not sure whether this is a good reason or a side effect, so I’ll let you decide.
When you feel so connected to a particular poet, you gain a new friend.
Someone you look up to. Someone you wish you knew in real life. Someone you wish was still alive. Who can understand you more than anyone else.
And let’s be honest: this love can be more or less platonic.
For example, I get super-excited whenever I see or hear someone mention Edgar Allan Poe, as his poems speak to me on a different level.
At the same time, I would have totally been Lord Byron’s groupie had I been born in the late 18th century.
Not even joking.
5. Poetry is available in so many different forms and styles
‘Poetry’ is such a wide term!
Because it’s available in different forms, you get the chance to experiment with rhymes and syllable counts, longer and shorter poems, meter and free form.
It might be that you’ll never want to stop this discovery for anything in the world or that you’ll find a type of poetry that just works so well for you that you wouldn’t want to read anything else.
Either way, poetry is a beautiful journey with something for everyone.
6. You’ll start seeing the world in a different way
Let me tell you a secret, my friend: poetry does not end on the page. Nuh-uh.
Once you start reading poetry, you’ll learn to spot details you’d never noticed before.
You’ll hear the chirping of the birds as you wake up in the morning or appreciate the quaint architecture of your usual train station.
In other words, you’ll become an aesthete and find beauty in everyday life. Magic and reality will start blending together harmoniously in your eyes.
7. You can pace yourself and go back to it without forgetting about a plot or characters
Remember when you started that novel, left it for a few months, and then tried to go back to it and were like ‘who on earth even are these characters’?
One of the perks of reading poetry is that it doesn’t really feel like a commitment, and you can easily read it at your own pace.
If you leave it for a few months, you won’t have to remember everything. That’s why you can also read a poetry book at the same time as a novel (or two).
Unless you go for the longest epics, you could read a couple of poems a day. Or devour the entire book in one sitting, obviously.
But it’s your choice.
8. A poetry book is the perfect travel companion
If there’s one thing that’s better than reading poetry, it’s reading poetry whilst you’re traveling. Legit.
Because you can read them in small installments, poetry books are ideal when you’re after a short read that you can store in your bag.
On the bus? While you’re waiting for a train? Trying to calm down your anxiety while the plane is taking off (that’s me)? Poetry is there for you.
9. Reading poetry can even boost your memory
Memorizing poetry helps you develop your intellectual ability. As well as being a great tool in a child’s development, it can help the most absent-minded adults, too.
Trust me: at some point, you’ll find a few lines or stanzas that mean so much to you that you’ll want to remember them. Take them with you even when you haven’t got the book in your hands.
You might even want to learn your favorite poem by heart!
For example, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what I ate yesterday, and yet I’ve memorized all the 18 stanzas, 108 lines, and over 1000 words of The Raven, by my platonic love Edgar Allan Poe (I felt the need to specify ‘platonic’ just so Lord Byron doesn’t get jealous).
10. And, let’s be honest: poetry books look adorable on shelves
Whether they’re a thin, minimalist paperback or a beautifully bound chonky boi, poetry books just look so charming on shelves or coffee tables.
You could create a separate poetry section, keep your favorite one on your nightstand, or even display it in a crafty way next to a houseplant or some fairy lights.
To summarize all this, when you start reading poetry, you start living poetically, too.