(I don't know. Do you?)
Poetry (or "peotry", as I see it all the time on message boards!) sometimes looks like "other" or "all of the above" choice in multiple choice endeavors.
I can't give you much of a crash course here, but I do want to recommend that if you write, and even if your specialty is hard-boiled murder or battle-focused science fiction, you need to read some poetry to understand the rhythm and beauty of the language.
But I can give you links to some of the best poetry I have found. What are your favorites? If you don't have a favorite, maybe you aren't enjoying enough poetry.
What He Thought by Heather McHugh
Musee des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden
I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great by Stephen Spender
Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Now go find some good poetry on your own – and let me know your favorites. I like the Modern and Post-Modern poets. I like economy of words, impact and unforgettable turns of phrases. What do you like?
Well, if re-reading my favorite poems isn't a Beautiful Thing, I don't know what is!
I saw a remarkable sight at the bird sanctuary a couple of days ago – I still can't quite believe it. Hundreds of black and white egrets or cranes rose up into a sort of giant spiral above me and wound through the sky for about ten minutes before flying away. I could see them so clearly, their long beaks, feet and legs tucked up into their underbellies, the black tips of their wings, feathers articulated.
The sight of my Dear Husband as they wheeled him to his room after his surgery yesterday – he was pale and wan, his silver hair shining on the pillow, but he was breathing and the surgery was a success. He gets to come home this weekend. Now *that's* a beautiful thing!
The Drive Home
It's cloudy and pale, not the usual sunny
and I'm taking a break from the work on my table
I've listened with interest to all of your funny
and sweet conversation at least as I'm able
Today I'm not working, well not on my writing
And I've finished the work that I do here for money
I'll drive home today and hope for a sighting
of egrets and owls, of skunks or a bunny
I live in the suburbs where one of the features
is an abundance of feathered and furry
two-legged, four-legged, winged great creatures
at the edge of my sightlines, if I don't hurry
I see them in trees at the side of the roads
in glades and in meadows, in forests, in glens
rabbits and squirrels and lizards and toads
And maybe a deer or some sheep in their pens
And I'll feel the sharp breeze as it loosens the berry
And I feel the sharp rain as it spatters my face
And I'll see all the creatures the suburbs can carry
And I know as I see them the meaning of grace.
Kate Thornton 2006