Take the first poem I ever wrote, for example:
I like Easter because we hide eggsIf this poem had a scent, it would be likened to a stinky cheese and a high school gym locker. But hey, I was only seven when I wrote it. Proof that I was not a child prodigy, yes. But, I was kind of a cute kid and I think that made up for it.
and it makes me move my legs
You would think, with poetry skills like that, I would have given it up altogether, right? Well, not exactly. Though very rare, I do like to play around with poems. Sometimes the words flood in - words that don't quite qualify as a story, but shouldn't be left to wonder aimlessly through my mind. So, I put them on paper that I may see them and keep an eye on them.
Words can be tricky characters. You never know when they'll change or evolve into something else entirely. They start out as a passing thought and, before you know it, demand your full attention. If you don't write them down, they could take you over entirely - consume you.
Oops, I got off on a bit of a dramatic tangent. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, poetry...
Well, though I see myself as a novelist, poetry certainly has it's place in my stories. They may not be short verses dedicated to a theme, but rather, poetic words woven in to highlight a mood or scene. I love the challenge of trying to lure a reader into the heart and mind of my characters.
Poetry grabs the reader. It provides depth to emotion and meaning to dialog - giving it volume and shape. With the right words, a story can truly come to life. So, while it is unlikely that I'll ever publish a book of poems, I will always write with my "inner poet" sitting comfortably on my shoulder.