FOR decades, humankind has been under attack, not from physical forces as one might quickly assume, but from stress, anxiety and depression.

BY LORRAINE MUROMO

This is because life situations are increasingly getting in the way of livelihoods as a result of a growing global population against increasingly shrinking resources.

Worsening matters further is the fact that at the start the new decade, people who are dealing with the adverse effects of shrinking resources are mostly bottling up their feelings.

The reason why this is happening is because even if they share their feelings, the harsh reality is it won’t stop global resources from shrinking and Zimbabwe is no exception to this truth.

With the country having faced its worst drought in over a decade in 2019, coupled with austerity measures that have significantly impoverished the nation, unemployment, an increasingly autocratic government as well as fuel, water, electricity, and cash shortages, Zimbabweans are more depressed.

Sure, they attempted to deal with this through comedy from notable characters such as Gonyeti, Mai Titi, Madam Boss and the comic Pastor, but the only problem is autocracy has reduced this space.
As such, Zimbabweans may need to turn to poetry.

First and foremost, it is of the essence to understand what poetry is all about as briefly as possible. It can be defined as a form of writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in a language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound and rhythm.

We currently live in a time whereby everyone claims to be okay but in actual truth, people are not okay. People turn to alternatives to find relief from stress, but there is nothing that beats the world of art.

It is liberating to put words on a piece of paper, poetry is healing, and it is therapeutic.

Poetry has the ability to reach deep down into the soul and restore long-time wounds. It is basically a safe zone, a reservoir of unsaid words, a channel through which one can let out toxic emotions.

It has the ability to let an individual speak to situations, bullies and intangible sensations that we cannot deal with physically.

Renowned poet, Leonard Takudzwa Mukwenga fondly known as Hey Hey in poetic circles seems, to agree.

According to him as human beings we have a common goal despite differing on a lot of things. We are all constantly searching for something be it love, a job, a supreme being or a better life, the point is people are nomadic.

“I look at life as a negotiation and for someone to access the things they need requires one to have a sound and a clear mind which is a challenge as many of us are not aware of our mental state of mind,” he said.

“Some suffer from anxiety, depression and several other mental disorders and they are not sure why they are not being effective, the mind is in pain and definitely needs something to distract it from whatever it is going through.”

Mukwenga said further that buying a journal and start writing poems can come across as a crazy idea but it is definitely healthy to keep a record of your emotional state.

That way the mind becomes relatively fresh and even the human emotional intelligence tends to get a nitrous boost.
Poetry is indeed a powerful tool as an outlet to channel out all toxic emotions and thoughts. For example why is it that most people tend to regret their actions after they have already committed a deed?

If only one would have found a way to deal with it before everything else went out of hand, writing down and expressing oneself through poetry is efficient.

Poetry provides the space to say all the hurtful words and think the most negative thoughts without hurting the next person, isn’t it a beautiful way of tackling verbal abuse?

Isn’t it a wonderful way of escaping reality for a moment and dealing with emotions before coming back to deal with reality?

There is the beauty of sobering up and thinking rationally after expressing oneself through writing down on a piece of paper.

That is how therapeutic it is, it gives one peace of mind and one will find that life is actually easier to deal with if only they could take it one step at a time and learn to express themselves more.

Without a doubt poetry is a powerful form of expression, liberating and a healthy way of living.