I think most of us are exposed to poetry as soon as we’re exposed to words. Nursery rhymes are poems. A. A. Milne’s Pooh books and Dr. Seuss books have them too. As Shakespeare noticed, the English language is often spoken in iambic pentameter. No wonder so many of us love poetry.
I enjoyed all of the above at a young age. When I was growing up, one of my favorite read-alouds was a book of poetry for children. When I got a little older, I discovered Emily Dickinson. I wrote my own (pretty awful) poetry as a teen and young adult. Later, I found Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou expressed my thoughts better than I could. And I still enjoy reading poetry today.
Many of the keynote speakers of the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference are poets. Even though I am a novelist, I always learn new things about writing, and sometimes about life, from them. My favorites (so far) are Billy Collins and Rita Dove. We are enriched by poetry and poets. I am glad we give them their due for one month a year.
Here are some links to help you celebrate National Poetry Month: