Beauty in Words
As a child I wrote a great deal of poetry. My family was very patient with this endeavor, as I would read it aloud to them. I proudly displayed many of my works by taping them to my closet door.
Unlike most childhood hobbies, mine followed me into adulthood. Today, under times of stress, I find myself reaching for my anthologies and seeking out some of my old favorites. I am partial to Oscar Wilde and all his broody melodrama. E.E. Cummings is another particular favorite, along with the infamous, Walt Whitman. I often wonder if poetry is a dying art and if I the children of today will understand the need for couplets or iambic pentameter.
I am not alone in my love for poetry. In fact I am in good company. Presidents John Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Barak Obama all had poetic readings at their inaugurations.
Arts.Mic states that researchers at the University of Exeter have found that there’s science behind poetry’s effect on the brain. We know about music’s effect on the body, but these researchers looked specifically at the different responses the brain has to poetry and prose. They found that poetry and music thrill us in a similar way. The right hemisphere of the brain is the primary area of response when reading poetry and the same is true when listening to music. This same region of the brain is what causes us to have shivers when we respond emotionally to something.
Secondly, Poetry stimulates areas of the brain linked to memory. This study showed that the regions of the brain linked to memory showed more activity than the general reading network while reading poetry.
Last, Poetry makes people self-reflect more. Reading poetry helps us to relax and reflect. Researchers found that it stimulates the parts of the brain linked to our resting states, the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes. Those are part of a network of brain regions that are active when someone is just sitting and relaxing, and have also been linked to introspection.
Photo Courtesy of HERE.