The power of poetry is immense. It is a personal expression of thoughts, emotions and feelings which is encompassed in rhythmic, artistic packages of words and concepts. What may take volumes of prose to express may be summed up well in a verse of poetry. For example, every bookstore in America is filled with shelves of books defining and expounding on the complex subject of courage. Yet one of the most eloquent definitions of courage may be Emily Dickinson's familiar line of verse, "We never know how high we are" 

Some of my favorite poetry web sites include the following: 

Academy of American Poets


Walt Whitman's Poetry (one of my favorite poets)

Contemporary Poetry Site

Poetic Terms Defined

Poetic Devices Handout

Interpreting Poetry

Sample Interpretive Essay

(Warning: not all poems at these sites may be school appropriate - read with caution.)


We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies.

The heroism we recite
Would be a daily thing,
Did not ourselves the cubits warp
For fear to be king.

by Emily Dickinson

Do we dare live up to our potential? Dickinson purports that we were meant to "touch the skies." However, because we fear to ascend, we allow ourselves to be diminished.

Do not fear success. Reach beyond your present state and become your potential. 

Another favorite poem