Poetry is writing that the author arranges in a manner other than sentences and paragraphs. Poets generally intend for their poetry to stir the emotions or imaginations of their readers. You can find poetry that's simple and straightforward, or you might write poetry that's complex and laden with symbolism. Poems can follow a strict rhyme or rhythm pattern, or they can be looser and freer in form. The genre of poetry covers a wide array of writings, from children's nursery rhymes to epic poetry from ancient writers to scriptures to today's hip hop songs.
Learning poetry can help you engage intellectually and creatively with others. When you read poetry you have access to rewarding experiences, but intentionally studying more complex poems gives you a better appreciation of language and communication. You can also develop better critical thinking skills when you try to interpret poems that have layered, hidden meanings. If you endeavor to write poetry of your own, you can sharpen your writing and thinking skills and enhance creativity. Memorizing poetry is also a great way to expand your memory skills and keep your brain active.
You may be able to turn your knowledge of poetry into a career as a writer or educator. There are freelance jobs available for writers of poetry for greeting cards, magazines, and journals. Or you can look for opportunities to earn money as a writer in residence for an organization or school. Songwriting allows you to earn money using your poetic skills to write lyrics. You can also teach poetry to students from kindergarten to the collegiate level and beyond.
When you take online courses on Coursera, you can find opportunities to learn how to read, interpret, and write poetry. You can take survey courses that teach you the broad concepts of poetry in general, or discover various genres of poetry, ranging from Native American to Japanese to modern poetic forms.