Ever wondered what the magic of reading poetry was? You will find all that is in this article as regarding why you should begin reading poems, even today

Humans are emotional beings and as such, need a reason to connect.
In poetry, we see vulnerability as the writer pours out his/her deepest anguish, daring to give a peek of their soul.

Poetry goes beyond our ‘polished’ notions of who we are and allows us to truly see ourselves, and this honesty is what touches us. However, the irony of the situation is that in a world where we live to connect, we’ve somehow lost touch with the raw honesty and gutsy form of expression – poetry. A few reasons why we should embrace poetry reading;

Reasons Why You Should Read Poems

1. Poetry inspires

For some of us who ended up as poets, we began not with a fervent love for the craft, but because we came across a piece that inspired us to want to create, to see if we could put together our own masterpiece, and from there we sailed.

Poetry has inspired many to take leaps, find emotional healing and appreciate the value of life.

Some quotes affirm to this

“Poetry has a power to inspire change like no other art form” – Kate North.

Beyond inspiring written poetry, other things like feminism, by Maya Angelou:

“When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.”

— Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman

For the value of nature and better life lessons, Mary Oliver;

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.”

— Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Rupi Kaur on relationships and Edna St Vincent Millay have spurred female expression, sexuality and political progressivism.

These, and many more have inspired many to make changes in our society.

2. Poetry helps us connect.

Poetry helps us connect with ourselves and with the world. In poetry, we see how words come to life and offer different answers to questions when we read poems. Typically, some people have been known to turn to poetry when dealing with heartbreak or failed relationships and they do this not to earn the title of poet, but to connect with how they feel currently with words. Even when we’re wordless, a page of poetry could have done justice to our current state.

“Anne had trouble dealing with the fact that her momma was gone, her momma who was her best friend and only companion. In order to deal with this loss, Anne started writing short poems to her momma and although momma couldn’t see it, she felt relieved because she had passed on what she wanted to say.”

It’s a typical story, we have wounds that run deep, we have stories to share, and sometimes hurt in common. The poem then helps us to connect, even while we’re hurt to find healing as the journey progresses.

3. Poetry reminds us that we are not alone.

“We read to know that we are not alone.” – C.S Lewis.

We’ve all encountered a poem that gets us screaming “me too”, when we look at the picture the writer is painting and realize that we’ve been on the same journey. Suddenly, the poem becomes more than a few words skillfully written because we realize that our struggles are not peculiar to just us, and that someone, somewhere, has walked the same road.

I once read a poem about the vanity of life, during a tough period. The writer told of how on some days he wanted to live to the fullest, and on some days he wanted to fade away. In that instant, without actually meeting the author – I found an ally. I found comfort and it helped me get through that season because I realized that someone, somewhere in the world shared my dilemma. I felt a lot less lonely after that simple poem.

4. Poetry gives us “Language”.

“Turning to poetry, it gives rhythm to silence, light to darkness. Through reading poetry, we find the magic of metaphor, compactness of expression, use of the five senses, and simplicity or complexity of meaning in a few lines.” – Phyllis Klein.

Just as other art forms such as music and dance, poetry gives us a medium to express how we are when we simply cannot voice it in a conversation. Poetry helps give language for the emotions that we feel, like the happy feeling we’d get from…

Christmas By John Clare

Christmas is come and every hearth

Makes room to give him welcome now

E’en want will dry its tears in mirth

And crown him wi’ a holly bough

Tho tramping ‘neath a winters sky

O’er snow track paths and rhymey stiles

The huswife sets her spining bye

And bids him welcome wi’ her smiles

Each house is swept the day before

And windows stuck wi’ evergreens

The snow is beesom’d from the door

And comfort crowns the cottage scenes

Gilt holly wi’ its thorny pricks

And yew and box wi’ berrys small

These deck the unus’d candlesticks

And pictures hanging by the wall […]

This poem is longer but had to be shortened.

Or, the sorrow best explained by:

My mother groaned, my father wept,

Into the dangerous world I leapt;

Helpless, naked, piping loud,

Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father’s hands,

Striving against my swaddling bands,

Bound and weary, I thought best

To sulk upon my mother’s breast.

— William Blake.

The point is our hearts resonate with certain pieces because they could give language “or voice” to feelings we couldn’t explain.

As American poet Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”

Poetry helps us find our own “voice”.

5. Poetry improves writing skills

In an article by Elyse Rycroft, on the need for poetry in classrooms, she said; “In poetry, we learn how to put words together to form meaning and context. We learn how to choose the right words, to create imagery and effect.”

Recommended Reads:

  1. Why is Poetry Important? 5 Reasons to Teach Poetry in the Classroom
  2. How to improve your writing skills

In reading poetry, I have encountered words that I didn’t know existed prior to the time, I’ve learnt the use of puns, metaphors, and alliteration. Concepts that were unfamiliar, in poetry I learnt to use certain words properly and express myself better.

6. Poetry teaches creative expression

For many writing and reading poetry is the first step in the journey of truly discovering who we are. I encourage you to take a bold move, get a poem, subscribe to a poem a day newsletter, even better, pick up a pen and paper or a laptop and give poetry a go.

 A world of limitless possibilities awaits you. 

Dig deep, you just might find a gem.

May I write words more naked than flesh, 

stronger than bone, 

more resilient than sinew, 

sensitive than nerve.”  

— Sappho ( c. 630 – c. 570 BC)

Why do you read poetry?

Where we able to point it out or not, if so, do let us know.

By the way, if you feel like reading some great poems, you may check out the greatest poems of all time.

Or pick Esther Kalu’s Love Is Not Enough, it’s free!.


This article was contributed to by a hutter; Becky Ogbar, she is a writer and proofreader. She is committed to creating awareness about the importance of emotional wellness, and enlightening individuals about emotional health and healing, she does so through articles and poems.

She loves research, and simple things like offering helpful advice. She takes delight in the small wins that come daily.

You can find her on;

LinkedIn @beckyogbar
Instagram @Ogbar Becky
Medium @Becky Ogbar
Twitter @OgbarBecky

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