This is the second of two instructional posts inspired by Steve Weddle's interview with me, specifically the question, "Is poetry harder to write [than prose]?"
I've always appreciated the sound of poetry, but from grade school to grad school, I felt I was on firmer ground writing prose. It wasn't until I helped Robert Plath with the HTML code for a faculty poetry site at Hofstra that I committed to writing poetry. (Have I mentioned my interest in writing began when an eighth-grade classmate had a book published in the school library? Jealousy is a great motivator.)
I think you do have to commit to whatever you do to get the most out of it, but this doesn't mean you have to choose one and make it a career path. Prose is better than poetry for some ideas and vice versa. I recommend you sharpen both tools, have both at your disposal, so when the time for each one comes, you're ready.
Yesterday, Prose and Poetry: Different Mindsets