Poetry Phobia

Poetry is a unique blend of the written word with sensibilities often associated with music. Book stores hold public poetry readings. Coffee shops feature poets. However, many poets are often dead before their work gains a following. The compact nature of poetry can leave the reader with an incredible sense of emotional connection. The words evoke a memory of a time, place or person that can leave the reader feeling joyful, melancholy or even angry. The fear of poetry is known as Metrophobia.

As beautiful as poetry may be there may be misunderstandings about the genre that can leave some feeling as if they are vulnerable.

What Causes Metrophobia?

I spoke of the vulnerability of poetry. This may be associated with the content itself or the feeling that you are vulnerable for ridicule if you don’t happen to understand what the poem is about. For some it can seem as if there is a great deal of hidden meaning within the words. This can leave them feeling fearful that others will condemn them for their lack of understanding.

If someone you love fears or hates poetry it can become easy to simply look at poetry as an inferior form of writing that should be avoided.In some cases poetry can be portrayed as something that is almost evil. This idea can create a situation where fear is allowed to grow quickly.

Symptoms of Metrophobia

Individuals with this fear will be very careful about the greeting cards they buy and may be reluctant to read any they receive in the event that perhaps some of them should involve poetry. These individuals will avoid reading poems and will have no interest in hearing others read poetry.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Control loss
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Temporary elevation in heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Air hunger
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Fainting
  • Temporary impairment in reasoning
  • Crying
  • Panic attacks

It is important to realize that most phobic personalities feel as if they have no control over their reaction to the fear stimulus – in this case poetry. They might rush from a concert if poetry is unexpectedly read.They may avoid bookstores, coffee shops or online locations where they suspect poetry will be available.

How to Overcome Metrophobia

Gaining a greater understanding of poetry is an important step in recovery. For many metrophobes the fear can come from simply not understanding the ways poetry gets its message across to the reader. It seems foreign to the metrophobe so they treat it as if it is something that cannot be understood.

Some who have this fear will consult with a therapist seeking information, and relief from their fear. Therapists consider this a positive approach because it allows the individual to personally acknowledge they have a fear, and that fear is wrapped up in the words of poetry. Once this is recognized and accepted the phobic personality can begin to follow the fear back to its origin in an effort to understand the fear, and find the help they need to succeed.

The fear of poetry is also referred to as:

  • Poetry phobia
  • Poetry fear
  • Metrophobia
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