Unlike the author of the original post, I began reading poetry prior to composing it. I have happy memories of leafing through various anthologies, including Palgrave’s Golden Treasury and the Oxford Book of English verse, (the latter has been superceeded by The New Oxford Book of English Verse). I agree with Melisa that its difficult to write poetry unless one has first read the work of other poets. Kevin
on Writing Forward:
I started writing poetry just after hitting my teens and quickly fell in love with the artistry, wordplay, and rhythmic challenge of crafting poems.
A few years later, it occurred to me that I should be reading poetry, so I looked at a few books of poetry but found nothing that spoke to me. For years afterward, I continued to write poetry but did not read the works of established poets.
Fortunately, I eventually went to college, where I was forced to read poetry and finally found works and poets that resonated with me.