I can already see some of you rolling your eyes. "Here she goes... getting all ga-ga over poetry. Gross." I promise I'll keep my love of verse under control. All I ask is this: before you click away, take 30 seconds to read the following poem. Not because I told you (though that's also a very nice reason), but because you're a writer and you love words in all flavors. Take these 30 seconds to recharge your inner muse and enjoy words for their own sake. This poem by Billy Collins is about reading poetry, but it continually helps refresh my perspective on all literature, regardless of genre.
Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Homework: Today I'd like you to visit poets.org or break open an anthology and read one poem you've never read before. It can be a poem with an interesting title, or a poem that you've been wanting to read but never got around to. There are no requirements except that it be a poem. Once you've read it, I'd love to hear about what you read. Also, do you like poetry and read it for fun, or was this new for you? If you love poetry, what about it speaks to you? If you're not a poetry-lover, what turns you off?