How Poetry Frees Me From Suffering

Author: Sophia Falco

Poetry is what grounds me. I believe in this realm of poetry that I have complete control which is ever so important for me as an individual affected by bipolar disorder for nearly a decade. I have control over my pen and paper (or my laptop and my keyboard), control over my word choice and direction of my poems, control over this sacred space of creativity, and control over my complex mind that sometimes I feel I have lost power to when in episodes of depression, mania, or a mixed state. When I mean control, I mean that my poetry unites my body with my mind and with my soul, and that my poetry cannot be taken away from me. Poetry allows me for self-expression different of that in academic writing which could not as effectively capture my emotions, feelings, and thoughts in the way that poetry does for me. I do feel that sometimes poems come to me, and I feel this is a blessing, whereas other times I have to work much harder in the process of writing, editing, rearranging stanzas, and such though this is also in a different way a blessing.

Writing poetry frees me from suffering. It allows me to liberate my troubling emotions, experiences including fear onto something tangible just as simple, but at the same time so profound of words on paper or words on a screen before me. Ultimately I believe poetry is to not let those emotions be trapped which causes further pain as time passes by. I write about different themes, not just solely on bipolar disorder. I feel that in regards to my more hopeful poems as an individual affected by this illness that they are in a way more powerful coming from a unique perspective. When I feel centered and balanced, my appreciation for life is much greater because of the suffering I have had, and this makes life much more beautiful. Even when I’m in an episode, I remind myself that indeed life is still beautiful such as illustrated by an innocent flower, and this motivates me to continue forth on my journey for mental health. As of today, I identify strongly as a poet which has given me more confidence in my life, and without poetry, I would certainly not be the person that I am today.

The Immortal Sunflower reading for Foothill College. This reading  took place on June 2nd, 2020.
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