I would have to say that my biggest influence in writing poetry would have to be Edgar Allen Poe. The cadence and style of his stories and poetry enthrall me. He is the reason I started writing poetry in my preteen years. I believe I was around ten or eleven when I first read ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ and I became hooked. I have read and reread his works ever since. I even got one of my nephews interested in reading Poe when he was nine, and he loved it enough to borrow my favorite copy of his works to read.
I also love Robert Frost. One of my favorites of his works is the poem called, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’. This poem has a very special meaning to me and to my younger sister.
Rod McKuen is another favorite of mine. I have a copy of his book ‘In Someone’s Shadow’. The copy I have used to belong to my mother. She received this copy of his book on March 16, 1971. I know this because she put her name and date on the inside. She passed away in 1984, so the book itself has a lot of sentimental meaning.
John Greenleaf Whittier and Longfellow, also top my list of favorite poets. As you may have guessed my taste in poetry ranges from all different eras and styles.
I also love the sometimes fragmented, yet thought provoking poetry of Viggo Mortensen. I find his works to be unexpected and unconditional. It is easy to see that he is totally caught up in his own world, you know that it comes directly from his heart and soul. It is real. I like that.
His art, photography and music, combined with his poetry have given me great inspiration since I discovered his works. A quote of his, for me, captures the essence of what it means to be an artist in any medium. He stated that, "Even if you produce stuff that is interesting to nobody but yourself, the act ivity justifies itself."