No way is poetry for cowards!
I write prose – it’s primarily what I write – and am now marketing a 120,000 word novel that took me almost 2.5 years to complete, revise, rewrite, revise, etcetera, ad nauseum. And it’s pretty damn good, the product of a lot of sweat and blood and tears and lost sleep and ten extra pounds because I could either write or exercise – I chose to write. I would say it is one of the hardest things I have ever acomplished intellecturally and creatively.
I have a handful of poems that are as hardwon, if not more – Superconductor, Icarus Arisen, Newton’s Principia, Gloria – that were so much harder to write because the language had to be so lean, so sparse, so targeted and economical.
And this is one of the primary reasons I write poetry – so that efficiency of reaching for the perfect word to say the perfect thought carries over into my stories.
If ever I have the good fortune to someday indulge in a Master’s level writing program, I will most likely do it in poetry, even though I consider myself a novelist. Because it is the hardest to do well. MHO, of course 🙂