When I wrote my first story at age 5, I didn’t find it satisfying. When I wrote my first poem, “My Bridge Without A Stream” at age 15, I felt I’d found a comfortable niche. It wasn’t a clear path yet, as the poetry we were studying was form poetry: largely sonnets and villanelles, which to my teenage mind was the equivalent of shoving words into a form just as Victorian styles shoved women into those torturous girdle-like trusses.
I was exposed to Keats, Shelley, Dickinson, Yeats, Brooks, Hopkins, Atwood, and many other form poets; for me the future of free flowing, free thinking verse was hitting a roadblock.
Then I discovered e. e. cummings and Carl Sandburg. My poetry was able to explore new unknown directions. In college, it took om an edgy feel. Over the years my verse has reflected growing up. It develops with each bit of inspiration from new and dear poets I receive.