April is the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Month!
Poetry has always been near and dear to my heart. I studied creative writing formally in both high school and undergrad, and poetry has always spoken to me, even though I fear my own poetry will never be at the standard to which I hold myself. My two times attending the Sewanee Writers' Conference solidified for me that I was a better short-story author than a poet. However, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate beautiful words and verse - and so can you.
The poet John Ciardi once asked (and I paraphrase), "Not what, but how does a poem mean?" Poetry can capture a mood or a small instance in time, and there are usually a few lines that feel so universal yet personal, that they take your breath away (for me, that is always the first line of Mary Oliver's "Wild Geese"). When you're reading poetry, see how a poem makes you feel, along with what you think the poem means. Try reading the poem aloud to see how it sounds - maybe read it aloud a few times! YouTube is also a great source for finding your favorite poets reading their own poetry.
Remember that poetry doesn't have to be stuffy or boring! The following list of poetry collections will hopefully prove that poetry is neither of those things.