Today I have 5 poems on Mental Health as Mental Health is an important aspect of every person’s life. Mental Health affects how we think, feel, and act.
1. “THE SWIMMING LESSON” BY MARY OLIVER
Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves
Reaching around my life, I moved my arms
And coughed, and in the end saw land.
Somebody, I suppose,
Remembering the medieval maxim,
Had tossed me in,
Had wanted me to learn to swim,
Not knowing that none of us, who ever came back
From that long lonely fall and frenzied rising,
Ever learned anything at all
About swimming, but only
How to put off, one by one,
Dreams and pity, love and grace, –
How to survive in any place.
2. “WHAT I COULD NEVER TELL MY MOTHER” BY MARGARET WESTENHOFF
What I could never tell my mother
Isn’t her fault; it’s mine
It’s things wrapped inside of me, coiled like wire with the filament exposed
She could accept them – those things – I’m sure
Maybe even love them the way she loves me; little puzzle pieces
That fell out of the box when we were putting it under the sofa
After we almost finished the puzzle together
But I hide them inside my deepest aorta
Keeping them safe because who wants to grab a still-beating heart?
It would kill me to take those secrets out
So my mother may know they exist
But she lets me keep them.
And maybe that’s the real secret, the one that
She doesn’t know –
It’s that I need some secrets of my own.
3. “TULIPS” BY SYLVIA PLATH
The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.
Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands.
I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses
And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons.
They have propped my head between the pillow and the sheet-cuff
Like an eye between two white lids that will not shut.
Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.
The nurses pass and pass, they are no trouble,
They pass the way gulls pass inland in their white caps,
Doing things with their hands, one just the same as another,
So it is impossible to tell how many there are.
My body is a pebble to them, they tend it as water
Tends to the pebbles it must run over, smoothing them gently.
They bring me numbness in their bright needles, they bring me sleep.
Now I have lost myself I am sick of baggage——
My patent leather overnight case like a black pillbox,
My husband and child smiling out of the family photo;
Their smiles catch onto my skin, little smiling hooks.
I have let things slip, a thirty-year-old cargo boat
stubbornly hanging on to my name and address.
They have swabbed me clear of my loving associations.
Scared and bare on the green plastic-pillowed trolley
I watched my teaset, my bureaus of linen, my books
Sink out of sight, and the water went over my head.
I am a nun now, I have never been so pure.
I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free——
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets.
It is what the dead close on, finally; I imagine them
Shutting their mouths on it, like a Communion tablet.
The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle : they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.
Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.
The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me
Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,
And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow
Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,
And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.
The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.
Before they came the air was calm enough,
Coming and going, breath by breath, without any fuss.
Then the tulips filled it up like a loud noise.
Now the air snags and eddies round them the way a river
Snags and eddies round a sunken rust-red engine.
They concentrate my attention, that was happy
Playing and resting without committing itself.
The walls, also, seem to be warming themselves.
The tulips should be behind bars like dangerous animals;
They are opening like the mouth of some great African cat,
And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
And comes from a country far away as health.
4. Resilience By Alex Elle
look at you.
and thrown out.
look at you.
picked and plucked
and prodded out of
look at you.
defeated and disassembled.
look at you, love.
still here and hopeful
after it all.
5. The owl and the chimpanzee By Jo Camacho.
The owl and the chimpanzee went to sea
In a beautiful boat called The Mind
The owl was sensible, clever, and smart
The chimp was a little behind
The owl made decisions, based on fact
And knew where to steer its ship
The chimp reacted a little too fast
And often the boat would tip
The waves would come and crash aboard
The chimp would start to cry
Large tears would roll right down his face
Afraid that he would die
The chimp and the owl would wrestle at night
When the world was quiet and still
The chimp would jump up and rock the boat
And the boat would start to fill
Then the owl stepped in and grabbed a pail
And started to empty it out
And the chimp would start to get quite cross
And would often scream and shout
The battle continued night after night
Until the chimp started to see
That if it let the owl take control
A more peaceful night it would be
Which one did you like the most, I’d love to know.
Glamor Medical says
These gave me the chills, so powerful and moving. Mental health is such a tough topic to write on, but these were beautifully written. I love Resilience and Tulips.
What a wonderful compilation of poems. They all have me thinking in their own unique ways, which is a good thing! I had to read them all a few times through to make sure I was really grasping the meaning and coming up with my own.
These are all such beautiful poems. I really like the one by Sylvia Plath. It’s beautiful.
These are powerful poems. “What I Could Never Tell My Mother” really touched me.
interior design says
They are all amazing wow….I super love the one on resilience, it is amazing….
look at you.
defeated and disassembled.
Alita Pacio says
I love these poems and the message they convey. Resilience is my favorite!
I love these but really connected with Tulips. Great post
These are very inspiring! These will help people with mental health sure!
Ntensibe Edgar says
Nnniiiiiccceeeee….I love the one talking about the things they couldn’t tell their mummy! So soothing and touching to my soul.
These are beautiful. So far the one from Sylvia Plath is my favorite. Thank you for sharing these.
Autumn Murray says
I love every single one of these poems. We should talk about mental health more often – it would help so many people understand the complexities and impact it has and what we can do to help ourselves and others.
I especially love ‘What I could never tell my mother.’ Very powerful and hard hitting. I could see alot of my own life in this one.
These are so well written and very moving. Thank you!
SONIA SEIVWRIGHT says
I love these poems. They are very powerful.
Hang in there! Anything for mental health is kinda sensitive for me.My secret is love and prayers as always 🙂
Christine H says
These are all beautiful poems. They are all inspiring in their own ways. Number 4 is my favorite.
Jessica Lathrop says
Wow…. I have had PTSD, Post-Partum depression and seasonal affective disorder throughout my various life stages and these poems are powerful!! A few of these verses really hit home for me. Thank you for collecting and compiling them together. <3
Renata Feyen says
Great poems – I love the second and fourth the most – There was a time I used to write poems myself too
mental health is SO important. I had a thing come up yesterday and I was worried and I actually still am but your poems posted today helped me a lot to regain my footing and see my problem as an opportunity. I do see the bright sides of it as well
I love it when people make and post inspiring poems. It works both ways: inspiring and giving your soul beauty food. poetry is very enriching as it is
These poems are really so beautiful. I loved reading each and every one. The first 2 were really very touching.
Eve Morgan says
The Sylvia Plath poem is my favourite, I studied some of her work while I was at school, her work is so powerful.
These are such great posts. Thank you for sharing.