on Writing Forward:
Art is often viewed as a fun and leisurely activity. This is partly due to the fact that creating and consuming art is, in fact, fun. The best stories and poems flow so naturally, so smoothly, that it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone laboring over their creation. Laypersons tend to assume that people just wave a pen around and a beautiful poem comes flowing out. And there’s also a myth about artists creating everything from sheer talent rather than learning the skills necessary to their craft.
But few writers can sit down and casually produce an excellent poem. While untrained poets might occasionally create publishable works, most good poems are a combination of natural talent and learned skills. Even the act of reading poetry can benefit from a little training.