by Adam Huddleston
Before I began earnestly attempting to hone my craft through flash fiction, short story, and novel creation, I wrote a fair amount of poetry. Most of it was the sticky, sappy stuff relegated to the realm of love poems to my significant other. A few were decent; not good, but decent. It was the writing of poetry that opened up the creative channels in my brain needed for creating more complex works and I highly recommend all writers trying their hand at it from time to time. Why?
First of all, writing poetry forces us to examine the depth of the world around us. Poems are full of the color, love, hate, and beauty that make up our lives. It is a generous heart, open to criticism and examination that lets the world in to see its feelings.
Another reason to place poetry in your portfolio is that it exercises some of the mental muscles we don’t often use (just try finding a good rhyme for “elbow”). The poet must constantly be working to make sure the flow of the words is lyrical, otherwise it is just prose.
Finally, the process of writing poetry is fun. You can make your poem serious, loving, scary (I’m looking at you, Poe), or funny. It gives a nice change of pace to those of us struggling to churn out a longer work.