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What Is In Poetry That Has The Ability To Cure A Patient?

3375 words - 14 pages

What if the simple rhyme and rhythm of a poem, the beauty it illustrates through its sound, could heal the sick? Is it simply in the mind, where the patient thinks they are healed by the words, or is it a physical treatment? It is heard of that mentally ill and even physically ill patients listen to words, and they are healed or in a healthier state of mind. It was written that “Poetry has an element, euphony, giving the poem an aesthetic, pleasing tone” (poetry.org). But can poetry be therapy? What is therapy? In an article written for the Psychiatric Centers Information Network, Perie J. Longo tells us; "The word therapy, after all, comes from the Greek word therapeia meaning to nurse or cure through dance, song, poem and drama". But the question really is, does poetry or can it actually cure an illness? What is in poetry that has the ability to “cure” a patient?

Poetry
From the Ancient Greek word poieo, meaning “I create”, poetry is, what is said to be, the most linguistic art form known to mankind over the years. Poetry, as the dictionary states, is a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhyme. Poetry has made its mark on modern European languages in its most relative element-rhyme. Although rhyme did not make its way into classic Greek or Latin poetry until the late Middle Ages, along with many other literary devices, such as alliteration, and assonance has made poetry a sound of music to readers. Some say poetry is merely words on a page, but to others, it is an art form, an illustration of someone’s life, someone’s feelings, and an emotion given away through words in hopes that someone else might find serenity.
“What is generally accepted as "great" poetry is debatable in many cases.”Great" poetry usually follows the characteristics listed above, but it is also set apart by its complexity and sophistication. "Great" poetry generally captures images vividly and in an original, refreshing way, while weaving together an intricate combination of elements like theme tension, complex emotion, and profound reflective thought” (poetry.org).
The basic home dictionary defines art as the “expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a usual form such as paintings or sculpting, producing a work to be appreciated primarily for its beauty or emotional power”. Poetry displays similar characteristics of art, but through words instead of materials and paints. It illustrates human imagination, and displays beauty and emotional power. Its meaning or purpose is similar to art, and can be interpreted in various ways; whether or not one agrees with the other, or if the interpretation was what the author intended the poem to mean, the interpretation is flexible variations. As illogical as it may seem, every person is at liberty to their own interpretation of a poem, and they can choose to be hopeful, pleased, blessed, or completely...

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