(This is a photo of a trashcan. Almost anything that has snow on it instantly becomes more interesting. Just like how interesting it would be if you didn’t steal this photo. :))

Poetry is pretty great. All the cool kids are doing it! But seriously. I like poetry. Don’t stop reading!

If you’re one of the many people who gagged when they saw that this post is about poetry, please relax. There are two types of poetry you may be thinking of… 1. MySpace/DeviantArt/LiveJournal/diary/whatever poetry. 2. whatever they made you read in school.

Not all poetry is crappy. Not all of it is self-loathing or depressing or about cutting yourself (or how you’d like to cut someone else). Not all poetry is pompous or about trees (Hey, I like reading about trees. But maybe you don’t).

Poetry can be as mouthwatering as a good piece of fiction, if done correctly.

Poetry is about finding awesome words to describe ordinary things. If you like reading awesome words, then you should probably find some good poetry. If you don’t like the classics, then just don’t read the classics. Find what you do like. If you like reading poems that are about death and decay, then go find some. It’s not terribly hard.  I’d suggest Edgar Allan Poe, but I have a feeling if you don’t like poetry, then you may have already gone there.

I’m not saying you have to appreciate poetry. But if you like writing, then you shouldn’t leave out this form of it. Poetry is streamlined and allows you a lot more freedom than a short story. You can’t only read books or only read short stories if you like writing. Immerse yourself in the world of literature. There is so much out there that you’re missing.

Your assignment: Find at least one poem that either intrigues you or that you like. Try to imitate its style in a poem of your own about something completely different. Then write a poem in the opposite style. If the author plays with punctuation and how it’s used, then only use proper punctuation. If the author uses proper punctuation, then try to use as little as possible! If the poem is short and simple, then try to write something longer and more complex (You don’t have to go crazy on this one). And vice versa. Don’t let yourself get caught up in only things you like–play with your own style and figure out for yourself what works for you.

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