I love to read all styles of poetry out loud. The sound of the words is as important to me as their meaning. Poetry is literary music and most classical forms of poetry speak to the musician in me.
The underlying rhythmic pulse and the use of rhythmic sounds in the text provide a forward energy that’s comfortable to my spirit (Carl Sandburg “The Rutabaga Tales”). Colorful imagery and lyrical metaphor touch my soul. I often chose this type of text for the choral pieces I selected for my choirs (Robert Louis Stevenson “I Will Bring You Brooches”). I don’t mind rhyme. I like rhyme, especially internal rhyme (Edgar Allan Poe “Annabel Lee”).
I appreciate poets of all styles who genuinely want the reader to understand the meaning; poets who don’t try to impress me with their powers of ambiguity. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate mystery, subtlety, or the use of veiled images to create mood, but I don’t like the feeling of “not getting it.”
The poetry I write isn’t always inspired—sometimes it’s just utilitarian in my evolution as a writer. I tend to reach for it when I’ve stared too long at an empty page that will not be filled with prose. A short, concise poem can jump-start my frozen creativity. As a bonus, writing poetry often helps expand my store of metaphor and improve my ability to communicate a complex idea using fewer, more specific words.