Poetry Rx in USA TODAY
Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., and his new book Poetry Rx: How 50 Inspiring Poems Can Heal and Bring Joy to Your Life were featured in USA TODAY on Saturday, April 24th, 2021.
This op-ed piece, by Dr. Rosenthal himself, paints the picture of the power of words and their ability to harm or heal.
As a psychiatrist and researcher who has worked to alleviate emotional suffering, I’ve long been fascinated that language can have as remarkable an effect on humans as direct biological treatment, like antidepressant drugs. Of course, most people think that psychotherapy has unique therapeutic effects, but the surprising truth is that everyone has access to the medicinal power of words without seeing a therapist. There’s a treatment that’s free and has no side-effects: poetry.
Dr. Rosenthal uses the power of poetry both in his practice and personal life with uplifting results.
… What I found were poems that have healing propensities for the myriad insults and afflictions of life. To my astonishment and delight, I tried them out in my practice and personal life, with positive results. Several patients brought me favorite poems of their own, which some report to have enhanced their therapy.
He concludes the article by addressing, what looks to be, the emergence of a year-long pandemic.
Though we are beginning to emerge from a year-long pandemic, we are still drowning in loss, sorrow, and anger. To hasten the arrival of hope and even joy, I prescribe the lyrical balm of poetry.