Poetry Offers Outlet to Cancer Patients

iv_drip_2I stumbled across this fascinating article about using poetry as therapy for cancer patients on the Dallas Morning News website and thought to pass it on to you. Thankfully, I’ve never had cancer. Knock on wood as I rap my knuckles against my head! However, I have had several family members who’ve suffered and succumbed to this terrible disease. I vividly recall the conflicting and confusing emotions this disease caused them and their loved ones. Emotions that often found no healthy and therapeutic way of expression. The article discusses not only the psychological benefits of poem therapy but also that there may be benefits for pain management!

I began writing poetry almost 2 years ago as my own form of therapy. Not because I suffered from some horrible disease but simply because I suffered from life. Life, while a wondrous and precious thing, can also treat us terribly at times. During a particularly difficult time in my life I found an unexpected emotional outlet in the form of poetry. First in the reading and then writing it myself. It helped me cope immensely.

It seems to me that writing poetry would be a natural form of therapy for those suffering not only from cancer but any other life-threatening, life-changing or chronic disease. It could provide a healthy outlet for the myriad of fears and confusing emotions as people face their own mortality and the fragility of life. The article, written by Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times, makes for an interesting read. Have a look! You or someone you know may benefit from it.

Category: By the Poetic Fool, Life, Writing | 4 comments

  • So true, poetry is definitely therapeutic.It helps me get through the ups and downs of life. Enjoy reading all your poems!


    poeticfool Reply:

    Hello, Nithya! Thank you for visiting my blog, I am honored. It’s great that we can all share our work with one another as well as reap the benefits of writing personally. Take care, my friend.


  • Sunshine says:

    Hi Rick, Any form of self therapy while dealing with the cancer beast is beneficial to ones mind, body and soul. During Dave’s journey we haiku’ed together and shared many laughs 🙂


    poeticfool Reply:

    Hi Linda! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I thought this was an interesting article and the theory applies to so many other forms of art; music, painting, photography, etc. The term “therapy” is being redefined and added to every day as Dave and you well knew. I’m glad to hear that you two used haiku and that it made Dave’s journey a bit brighter. Thanks for sharing!


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