So far, I've focused my entries on fiction because it's what I'm most comfortable writing. But I also enjoy, and occasionally write, poetry. So, here goes:
I'll be blunt - in high school and college, I didn't "get" poetry. I tried. I struggled. I sweated. I squirmed. But I just couldn't get it. It was out of my grasp, the carrot I was always reaching for but could never quite snatch.
Fast-forward several years - the lightbulb finally turned on for me during a Modern Poetry class I took when I was 30 years old. The teacher had the key that unlocked the mystery of poetry. She explained each line in tangible terms and made it easy to understand. I finally "got" it, and I appreciated it like I had never done before. It fascinated me.
Understanding it also gave me the courage to write it. Now, I still don't consider myself a true poet, and writing poetry still doesn't come easily to me. But I find it, by far, the most raw, real, personal, and subjective form of literature available. I love its freedom, its mystery, its depth, its brevity. I appreciate it. And I'm (hopefully) a better writer for appreciating it. Because there can be poetry, even in prose. In fact, there should be. Metaphor, imagery, personification, alliteration - these devices all have a place in prose, as well.
So, what's your "relationship" with poetry? Love it or loathe it?