Poetry is a neglected platform in the age of Instagram and Snapchat, and this modern culture has turned a lot of people into poetry skeptics.
Poetry gets a bad rep of being sappy and overly emotional, but I think it can really help with mindfulness and understanding yourself in a creative way. As a reformed poetry skeptic, I present to you what I think are four works that shatter the cliche stereotype.
Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
This book is divided into four sections and takes the reader on a journey through a different type of pain and heartbreak. It is all very relatable to an average young person, which inhibits self reflection upon reading. This beautifully written collection is one of my favorites to read when I’m feeling introspective. Rupi Kaur pairs her beautiful words with stunning illustrations, all done herself. This is Kaur’s first book, and we are all awaiting her second collection.
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair – Pablo Neruda
A classic, but underrated piece: Pablo Neruda’s writing is enchanting and beautiful. His style of writing is much more classical than that of Rupi Kaur and other modern poets as the book was originally published in 1924. But, the words are delicate and pleasing nonetheless. Although the book is centered around the idea of love, I find it to be fostered around interpersonal relationships in general. Therefore, it once again includes pieces that promote self actualization in many aspects of life. But, at the end of the day the words are simply beautiful.
Ariel– Sylvia Plath
Ariel was Sylvia Plath’s second book to be published in 1965, two years after her death by suicide. These poems are much more dark and dramatic, but encompass Plath’s mental state towards the end of her life and provide interesting insight into her mind during that time. Focusing on abstract images of nature and landscapes, the poems in this collection really make you think and work to decipher your own meaning from them.
Whiskey Words and a Shovel I– r.h. Sin
This book is unique among the rest. It is centered around a past relationship. So, the poems are all very personal and connected to strong emotions associated with the pain of losing someone. The words are simple and easy to read, which create an strong impact on the reader. I find the more modern poets, like r.h. Sin to be much more relatable than the classics, although each are worth reading. r.h. Sin has also written a second and third book in this series.
I hope that some of these amazing pieces of writing change the mind of a poetry skeptic. Happy reading!