Poetry is a unique form of writing that might be best defined by its lack of a clear definition. At its core, poetry is a means of expression. It embraces the sound and idea of a word as much as the meaning. Some poetry has clearly defined rules for line length, stanzas, rhyme scheme, and meter, while other forms of poetry break the normal conventions of writing and are bound only by the imagination and creativity of the author. Poetry is often regarded as confusing, stuffy, and boring. We will strive to change that perception by looking at poetry past and present, from classic authors like Shakespeare and Poe to contemporary poets found on your iPod. Through our study of poetry we will explore both the structured and the unstructured, endeavoring to understand meaning, acknowledge figurative language and poetic devices, and appreciate this genre as a powerful expression of emotion and the human condition. In addition, we will try our hand at writing our own poems, experimenting with different forms and topics.