Contemplating a Modern Poet

I was contemplating a work by a popular poet that has been all over social media that I think shows the importance poetry can play in expressing yourself and enhancing your mental health.  I am, of course, talking about Miley Cyrus.

Her new song Flowers is a response to Bruno Mars song When I was Your Man. It was a song her now ex-husband dedicated to her at their wedding.  It is a catchy tune that basically responds line for line and says, “I am enough. I don’t need you.”

By writing the song she was able to put her hurt feelings to words and deal with a painful time. Instead of just ruminating, she accomplished a song (which is a poem). A song with a message she expressed and then could wait until she was ready to talk about it (she married in 2018).

Instead of bashing him in tabloids, she distanced herself by not even mentioning her ex by name. I  think focusing on creating art instead of focusing on the pain helped her get past that pain.  Now she is sharing her feelings through the poem and is getting support for it.

And yet she is also getting her revenge.  I think she gets her point across, but not as a victim.

That perhaps leads to the best part of writing about something painful. She was able to tell her story to herself and others from a different perspective. Weepy songs about breakups also provide comfort to people going through things, but “Flowers” is different.

Miley cleans the slate of what happened and makes herself her own hero. She declares that she can buy herself flowers and is happy to be with herself.  Now her story has a happy ending and has a empowered way to think of herself. And we are our thoughts.

So like Miley, we should write down our pain.  We can just write a letter and let someone have it.  Call them names and tell them what they did wrong. I just don’t recommend sending it (although I may support you if you do). Get it off your chest and you will feel better.

And if you go back and transform what you have written as the basis of a poem or a piece of prose, you can take the focus away from that person that hurt you and put the focus on where it should be.

Yourself and your inner strength.


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