Poetry Diet

Today was my first day of poetry class with a new group of students. As I always do, I started by asking the class to brainstorm possible benefits of writing poetry. Usually we come up with the usual suspects: Telling their stories in their own words, stress relief, practice reading and writing which will help when they take their GED exams, etc. But today’s group came up with something novel: Weight loss.


“Weight loss?” I asked. I wasn’t following.


“You know, you hold your stress in your stomach, so if poetry helps to relieve stress, you get it out of your stomach.”


That was a stretch, but hey, I’m willing to stretch. Stretching is part of any good work-out plan, so maybe that would be part of the Poetry-for-Weight-Loss program, after all. 


So while students wrote their poems, I played with the idea. Here’s what I came up with:



Jenny Craig has endorsed it.

It’s the reason behind Oprah’s new svelte silhouette.

Try it!

Put an end to stress eating, by instead putting your pencil to the page.

Release that rage!

Watch the ounces melt away

as you let go

the pain of your first heartbreak.

Sweat away pounds as you lift verbs, press nouns into service.

Lose those ugly pounds of bitter regret.

Say goodbye to the weight of sadness –

the confounding poundage

of a heavy heart.