Wednesday, December 28, 2016


"But in its aimlessness, in its desperate commitment to the word, in its primal order of birth and rebirth, a poem remains the most general guarantee that we can still do something, that we can still do something against emptiness, that we haven't given in but are giving ourselves TO something."
-Miroslav Holub

"Poets have been known to be smug about their fine uselessness, but the Vietnam War led many poets of my generation to try to use poetry to make something stop happening. We will never know whether all that we wrote shortened that nightmare by one hour, saved a single life or the leaves on one tree, but it seemed unthinkable to many of us not to make the attempt and not to use whatever talent we had in order to do it. In the process we produced a great many bad poems, but our opposition to that horror and degradation was more than an intellectual formulation, and sometimes it tapped depths of bewilderment, grief, rage, admiration, that took us by surprise. Occasionally it called for writings that may be poems after all."
-W.S. Merwin

In an age of 140-characters and texts and holiday photo cards adorned with pictures, we hardly write anymore. We rarely just sit with pen and paper (and tea and candle) and ramble. Letter-writing seems archaic. Poetry feels obsolete. We want instant gratification and videos on demand and news in snippets. Even reading seems to be going away.

I am incredibly guilty of this. I go through spurts and hesitations with my writing. I took a poetry class where I wrote a poem a week, and that habit has since faded. This blog will go away soon. But I really do believe that writing gives me such unique pleasure, that its work is like exercise, we loathe to start, but we need it. So coming upon this New Year, I resolve to write more. It will be in different forms and forums, different guises and jests, but it will be good for me. Soothing. Nurturing. Healing.

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