Poetry in the ancient past had great importance. It was said to exist before writing, orally recited to pass on mythology, history and law. The oldest poem known, said to be 6500 years old, is the story of a shipwrecked sailor.
Six thousand years ago, the epic of Gilgamesh was written and, 2800 years ago, the stories of the Iliad and Odyssey. Later, epic lyric and dramatic verses were still giving cultural relevance to people.
Today poetry is not generally liked; it does not seem to resonate with people. It has a reputation of being too academic or lofty, not in touch. But if you call it “rap”, it becomes acceptable to the young.
Like music and art, poetry gives an emphasis to what you want to say. It has a brevity and summary of importance, unlike a novel. The rhyme, rhythm and metre make it easier to comprehend and recite.
Poems can be small victories of thought and speech, distilled and condensed. They may have deep feeling that speaks to the heart.
My paintings are a unification of what I see with what I feel; and my poems are a
unification of what I know with what I feel. They are emotional wisdom.
There is medical proof that poetry can be therapeutic. Medical research in 2001 in Italy found that poetry reading enhanced the baroreflex response; the cardiovascular response that stabilizes blood pressure.
In 2004 researchers found that, when reading poetry aloud, a synchronization occurred
between the heart rate and breathing; but not during spontaneous breathing.