6 Ways to Stay Connected Through Poetry This Season
Let’s face it: This year has been seriously challenging. Though the holidays can highlight these struggles—especially in isolation—poetry invites us to connect and find hope. In fact, studies regularly show that poetry increases empathy, which can help us be there for others and be more gentle with ourselves. If you’re spending the season away from loved ones, use these six poetic strategies to bring them closer.
1. Start a poetry email chain.
Poetry chain letters surged at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and we think it’s time to recommit to this thoughtful, old-school trend. The premise is simple: Share a favorite poem with a friend or family member through email. That person then forwards it on and adds a favorite of their own. This channels the camaraderie of the holidays by inviting a big group to be a part of something special. You never know who your poem could reach, or the cheerful and invigorating effect it could have on someone.
2. Send a poetry postcard.
If snail mail is more your style, take advantage of the humble postcard’s charm. Think about it—when was the last time you received one? Brighten a mailbox or two by scribbling down a poem for comfort or a poem for healing.
3. Gather for a video reading.
Readings are like a poet’s version of church—they’re social, inspiring, and can even be spiritual. Invite friends or family to partake in a video reading to capture these vibes and share in a soothing experience. Participants can bring their own work, or you can decide on a theme—like poems for new beginnings, in honor of the new year—and each person can bring a classic or contemporary poem that speaks to the subject matter. Inviting the people in your life to read their own work or a work that inspires them can help you learn more about each other and grow your relationships.
4. Gift a meaningful collection.
Poetry is a highly personal gift. If there’s a collection that you think would resonate with a friend or family member, send it their way. This thoughtful act will bring you closer by ensuring that they think of you when they read it.
5. Form a poetry book club.
This tradition can start during the holidays and continue throughout the whole year, whether weekly, monthly, or whenever works for you. Starting a poetry book club opens the floor for deeper conversations. It can also turn spending time with loved ones into a regular, affirming ritual. Change up who gets to pick the book each month to incorporate many different perspectives and voices. You just might appreciate your friends’ or family members’ recommendations.
6. Write about memories, traditions, and family.
Writing can be a powerful act of manifestation. Writing about memories with family or friends can really make them feel closer. And as much as you’ll enjoy writing about traditions, your support system will love reading your warm-hearted reflections.