Poetry to Ease You in Times of Quarantine

Between the news, the anxiety, and the uncertainty in the current state of our world, it’s difficult to find some way to stay grounded. On one end, there are people saying this is a time for productivity. People are saying you should be working out, eating healthy, etc. Other people say you should be focusing on yourself with meditation, rest, etc. On social media, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. Social media, as we all know, is not real life. Real-life right now isn’t even real life. 

Most of the things that ease the riding tide in my mind are creative outlets like watching movies, listening to music, writing. This is in no way a cure-all, but I’ve realized that poetry has been quite grounding for me. I’ve dived back into the poetry books I’ve read a hundred times, and into books that I’ve never read before. 

To add to that, a few of my favorite poets have been doing special things for this peculiar time. 

Madisen Kuhn, author of Eighteen, Please Don’t Go Before I Get Better, and Almost Home, created an Instagram page called @poetryishealing to celebrate April being poetry month. She created a calendar of words for poets to use in their work each day in April. She reposts them on @poetryishealing and on her personal Instagram @madisenkuhn. This account has been very inspiring for me, as it showcases the talent I would not be able to experience on the platform otherwise. 

@poetryishealing on instagram Screenshot by author

Madisen has provided solace for me in her poetry for years. She’s the poet who inspired me to write my own poetry. I got the chance to meet her in Philadelphia a few years ago, and read a poem of mine to her, which still lands on my top ten coolest things I’ve ever done list. (Yeah, I have one of those. You should too.) I highly recommend if you’re not following Madisen, you do, and you invest in her beautiful work. 

Another poet providing a creative outlet for her audience is Rupi Kaur. If you’ve ever had a Tumblr, especially in the early 2010s, you know who Rupi Kaur is. She’s done a numerous amount of poetry workshops live on Instagram. She welcomes her viewers into her home with meditative music in the background to teach the audience exercises she utilizes to write her poems. People who write their own poems can post them with the hashtag #writewithrupi to join the community, including Rupi herself. I’ve always loved Rupi, I think her work is powerful. She’s also a lovely human. I love watching her talk on lives, and how she appreciates it when other people join and read her their work. 

Rupi Kaur's poetry workshop Screenshot by author

In these uncertain times, it’s important to find something that eases your mind. With the news constantly on, instilling even more of the uncertainty, it’s so easy to find yourself succumbing to the panic. I hope you can find some way to escape it. I’ve been using poetry, especially Madisen and Rupi’s poetry, to keep me grounded. Any kind of art is such a beautiful way to get lost in something. Read a book, discover some new poetry, fall into a different reality for a while.