Well I know, shift to the left, shift to the right
My tough tanned shield. That's what the real drill
Defensive fighting means to me. I know it all
How to charge in the rush of plunging horses-
I know how to stand and fight to the finish
Twist and lunge in the War-god's deadly dance.
From the Iliad- Book 7, lines 275-281
I first read these lines in the early 90s. I remember how impressed I was with Homer's use of language, how beautifully strung together words could be, and how I wondered to myself whether I could achieve that kind of depth of expression in my own (prose) writings.
My desire to know and feel and write poetry emerged from a like consideration- this was when, shortly before May of 2008, I read a short passage* from Milton's Paradise Lost ... I found it so incredible a description of Eden's worth that I almost couldn't read prose anymore (indeed, my philosophical studies diminished terribly since that formal acquaintance with Milton and poetry).
From that time on I began to submerge myself in the world of poetry- anything and everything I could learn about or get my hands on! I wanted to know the poets and their poetry; I wanted to know their history; I wanted to learn poetic forms, meters, poetic devises, and every medium utilized by poets to achieve their works ... and so I pursued these, and have since been just as passionate to know everything I can about poetry and those that have taken her hand.
Now whether or not I'm a poet is of little concern to me ... what does concern me, or rather, what moves me is the humble yet powerful desire to express myself creatively. Poetry seems my means.
Do I want to be a Homer or a Milton ... of course not. I only want to be what God intends me to be. Nevertheless, the passion, the Muse that ran furiously through the blood of those poets ... yeah, I want some of that.
*Paradise Lost, Book IV 268 - 275
Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower by gloomy Dis
Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive...