Ann E. Michael
|Minerva, the Roman goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom…|
Periodically, because I have so many friends and colleagues who are writers, the subject of whether writing is therapeutic appears in conversation or on social media. A recent New York Times Sunday Review essay by Betsy MacWhinney on how poetry seemed to help her teen daughter through a difficult time evoked discussion and conflicting responses from my friends online. Several writers posted the essay and expressed admiration or commented positively on “what poetry can do.” One or two others, however, posted or commented with dissatisfaction—not necessarily with MacWhinney’s experience (people said she was “a good mother”) but with the general idea that writing, especially writing poetry, is a form of therapy.