Innovation & design thinking: Skill-ToolKit: 056

Tool: Poem Skill/Tool


Some of you might be thinking, considering poem or poetry as Innovation and Design-thinking skill/tool is absurd and crazy. 


Yes, I also use to think like that!

I even thought poetries are useless. ha ha ha 


In my school days, I was forced to study poems, and remember them for the examination. First of all, poetries were hard to comprehend; because the contextually meaning of those poems wasn’t part of my life experience. I am sure some of you had a similar experience when you read ‘the road not taken’ by Robert Lee Frost, poem start, ‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.’ the poet was American, in their country forest is called wood, in our country wood means dead tree part, not a living tree forest. Ha Ha Ha.

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Another reason which I believe why most of us shunned studying poems because nobody told us about the significance of them. (like, as we know, being good with maths helps you get in top engineering college, being good at biology leads to Medical college, and so on). Nevertheless, nobody told us the benefits of being good at poetry. I am sure, until today, it is a question for many. 

However, recent Neuroscience studies suggest that regularly studying poetry increases neurons’ growth in the brain because understanding poetry requires connecting thoughts, applying imagination, and meaning-making-skill within a given context.

Furthermore, Neuroscience study proved when we read poems, more neurons fire in the brain in comparison to prose studying. Because in the poem, you have to derive meaning from new associations and connections. In many ways, poems usually activate our imagination; on the contrary, proses are informative, doesn’t require imagination.



With the help of careful control of sound and rhythm, poetry expresses its idea, and technically one of the oldest language structure you find still exist. For example, in the pop song which we love, supported (lyrics) poetry, the greeting card we recently sent carried poetry.


If I tell you poem/poetry is an excellent aid to enhance creative skills, most of you immediately disbelieve me. A few of you to be polite with me, you could say, Ya, Ya! Reading poems could make us imaginative, look at things from a different perspective, and so on.


Recent neuroscience study fact sheet:

1. Poetry triggers the part of the brain which tide to reward, emotion and memory, all these emotional responses

For example, MRI scanning has revealed the brain’s right hemisphere that is linked to reward, and emotion gets stimulated when a person reads poetry.

2 Poetry strengthens the overall cognitive health 

For example, MRI scans study shows brain neuron connection peaks when a person reads poetry. Because poetry stretches the meaning of words, therefore, the brain has to work hard to comprehend those words interpreted meaning. This overall ‘linguistic acrobat’ makes brain hipper-active and increases brain neurons.

3 Poetry encourages self – reflection

For example, MRI scans showing when we read poems that part of the brain related to the daydreaming and memory get lite. Another important thing is that poetry encourages us to do introspection and reflections. I believe we all have experienced this phenomenon.


Why is it essential to study poems for Innovators and Design-thinkers?

1. Poetries are the rich sources of metaphors (metaphors are the rich source of idea inspiration)

2 Poems extensively use rhyming words, (knowing more rhyming words surely helps you while writing headlines for a communication art piece, writing tag lines, and slogans)

3 Poetries attempt to explain complicated topics or messages most of the time, preciously in two to four sentences. (therefore regularly reading poetry could strengthen the skills of being highly expressive through fewer sentences)

4 Poems are often genuine expressions, wherein a poet able to capture the deep emotions in sentences. (so regularly studying poetries, one can learn this skill of human emotional feeling expressing through written sentences. It helps you in your creative writing).


How do we increase poetry in our daily diet! ha ha ha 

1. Make a ritual of reading at least one new poem a week and plan attending poetry reading shows more frequently.

2 Print a poem on an A5 sheet or small card which can be easily carried in your wallet or purse, and whenever you get a few minutes in between your busy day, glance at the poem.

3 You can sign up a poem-a-day by email, get a fresh poem every day 365 days or buy a poetry-a-day calendar


In conclusion, Innovators and Design-thinkers must increase their exposures to poetry, if possible, make it a daily ritual to read a poem -a day, if not at least two to three poems a week would do miracles. I assure you that your brain will surely thank you!


Dharam is a purpose driven Brand Strategist & Designer and a Mentor with over 15 years of brand building experience


Brand Design Strategist