Anonymous Poetry

From “Death of a Poet” by Mikhail Lermontov

With so much of life taking place online, it feels like approval-seeking and striving are inextricably stitched into the fabric of our days. How many ‘likes,’ how many followers, how many views – even our social life is quantified.

With this in mind, it can be grounding to do something without expectation of approval, or any notion of praise.

This mindfulness activity is deceptively simple. In short: write a poem, longhand, on a piece of paper, and send it to a stranger via post. This means physically writing the verse, and taking the time to mail it.

Let the poetry be written without the need for polishing or perfecting the verse. It can be free verse, haiku, or any form that feels right for the moment.

Savour the time it takes to accomplish the physical aspects of this activity, the simple but satisfying process of folding the paper and sealing the envelope. If you are in the States, you can use the online White Pages to find a stranger’s address, or any physical or online means where you are located. Importantly, don’t include a signature with the verse; don’t include any return address or means of contact. Part of the point is to let go of need for approval.

Once the letter is ready, bring awareness to the act of mailing it and the small under-rated feeling of accomplishment it brings. The result is an anonymous piece of art, a testament to the moment, honouring an activity for the sake of doing it.

Enjoy this quiet rebellion against achievement, and know a stranger will be enjoying your efforts.

For more mindfulness activities, look here.

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