For generations, writers have sought to capture the human soul in words.
From Homer to Shakespeare and Browning to Yeats, poets have striven to define,
in a few short lines of verse, the life force that
flows through their veins.
The gift of poetry is not limited to the T.S. Eliots of
the world. Nearly everyone has heard the sweet call of a muse at one
point or another. Some vent frustrations, while others immortalize
a love interest. While it is difficult to reach the stratum of Walt Whitman,
literary mortals can refine their skills (no
matter how rudimentary). A number of on- and off-line resources are available
to the burgeoning poet, from discussion forums to
archives of classic texts.
For writers, a good place to start is the Poetry Society of America.
The oldest poetry organization in the nation, the
PSA site is geared toward poetry education and awareness. The site provides
little poetic text, but offers journals, awards, magazines, bookstores and publisher information.
The Academy of American Poets offers advice on publishing poetry.
It also offers forums where poets can seek advice from their peers.
You don't have to write poetry to appreciate it. Sample a wide variety of verse at the following sites:
Offers a list of the 100 Greatest Poems Ever Written.
Poetry in the Classroom
Fooling with Words with Bill Moyers,
The Web accompaniment to a PBS series on contemporary poetry in America that ran last fall. It contains teaching plans,
a forum and other relevant resources.
Just for Fun
Cowboy Poetry On-line
For lack of better things to do after a hard day on the range, cowboys would sit around the camp fire at night and entertain one another with poems.
Enter a competition to become "Cowboy Poet of the Month."
The Bad Poetry Page
Browse a collection of the worst verse ever forced upon
human ears (visitor submission is encouraged).