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Τετάρτη, 24 Ιουλίου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionThe Power of Keeping a Poetry Diary

The Power of Keeping a Poetry Diary

By Sophia Machaira,

Part of growing up has always been the change in vocabulary, even if we are referring to the same thing or situation. The example we would like to demonstrate is diaries. This simple method of recording your day is now commonly referred to as a journal. This includes, of course, the benefits it has for your mental health when you write down not only what you went through but also what you thought and felt. You may ask, how does poetry come into the mix? 

For most people, the last time they read poetry was for a high school assignment. Meaning? They view poetry as a complicated form of art, full of rhythm, meter, and hidden meanings that a quick read easily misses. It can sound like a chore or something very sophisticated to do leisurely, which is the reason why it is avoided. However, this is far from the truth. The beauty of poems lies in their lack of a cookie-cutter form and the freedom to ignore even grammatical rules. When the writer chooses the structure of their work, the final product is called a free verse poem. 

The idea of inserting poetry into a diary can be traced back to 935. Specifically, a poetic diary is a genre of Japanese literature, also referred to as Nikki bungaku. This combination encourages creativity and, simultaneously, can get its point and emotions across much more quickly than prose. This can be achieved in simple ways, such as writing incomplete sentences (i.e., without verbs). Keeping a diary means having a personal safe space for your thoughts. Furthermore, it remains a space to express yourself and thus does not need to be written in a specific way. As it seems, the Japanese were aware of these benefits and used their poetic diaries for psychological exploration as well. 

Image source: unsplash.com / Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Let us delve deeper into these advantages. The most obvious one is how keeping a journal helps improve one’s writing skills. Even if the log being kept is not a daily one but rather a weekly or monthly one, it is still considered practice. Adding poems proves very useful in fostering creative (out-of-the-box) thinking. For beginners or slower days, the action of writing in lyrics and stanzas instead of paragraphs is more than enough. After all, anything has the potential to become a poem. Another step would be to incorporate literary devices like metaphors and allegories. Do not forget that in a diary there can be no judgement about how well these elements are implemented by anyone but yourself. Once again, practice makes perfect. 

Secondly, the attempt to vent through poetry unlocks hidden truths about the self. The vocabulary and techniques you choose to use can reveal your way of thinking. It reveals not only whether you are a pessimist or an optimist but also the kinds of connections you make between situations. It may be noticeable as you are writing it, or you might find out much further down the line upon rereading it. Overall, the experience is enhanced and much more enjoyable than answering a “How am I feeling today?” journal prompt. 

Finally, the act of keeping a diary can help with memory and battle overthinking. Being able to revisit what you had written frees you of the burden of remembering it. Plus, you let out your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way instead of bottling them up. Thus, your mind may not have the urge to recall them as often. In short, you can release yourself from worry. 

In conclusion, maintaining a record of your life offers a lot of advantages. Intertwining poetry with the act of diary-keeping can elevate your expressive abilities and efficiency in unexpected ways. So, why not embark on this creative journey and give it a try? By embracing the art of journaling through poetry, you can transform your diary into a canvas of self-expression and a sanctuary for your soul. 

  • Poetic diary, wikipedia.org. Available here
  • Keeping a Diary or Journal, skillsyouneed.com. Available here


Sophia Machaira
Sophia Machaira
Born and raised in Athens in 2002, studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, department of Informatics and Telecommunications. Adores writing free-verse poetry, fluent in English and hopes to work in web design.