There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colors gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
There's something about poetry that stirs the soul. Something about the lyrical course of words that more than paints a picture, more than inspires imagination, that reaches deep within to the root of feeling and plucks upon the strings of emotion.
I will admit to being sadly ill-read when it comes to poetry. I have not spent hours pouring through poetry books nor could I write a half-decent poem to save my life. (I have tried many a time and most attempts ended in woeful failure - though thankfully my life was not upon the line!) But I have recently discovered poetry as yet another form of storytelling - one that I don't exactly excel at, but one that I can appreciate none the less.
As a fantasy writer, an appreciation of poetry, especially in regards to epic poetry and mythological verse, can be quite useful. I have always loved epics such as Beowulf, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, or the snippets of Tolkien's Lay of Leithian in the Silmarillion. But I intend to expand my poetical palate still further in an attempt to enrich my own writing. So I shall ask you a favor. If you have pursued a life of poetical literacy farther than I have, would you care to share the titles of your favorites in the comments?