The Poem for Tuesday feature here at The Agonist is one of the cooler things in the blogosphere. The fact that we’re getting a chance to consider excellent poems is perhaps reason enough to do it, but its ultimate value runs even deeper: because we often spend so much time focusing on the political onslaught in our culture, we can forget something crucial: politics are not the thing, they are a manifestation of the thing. A literate society whose citizens have their arts, their literature, their poetry in order is a society whose politics do a much better job of taking care of themselves.
Or so it has always seemed to me.
I write for Scholars & Rogues, and we share The Agonist’s love of the artistic word. I’m also a poet (and have been one for far longer than I’ve been a blogger), and I recently started up a little poetry community that may be of interest to Poem for Tuesday fans. In part it’s an avenue for my own work, but it’s more a forum for promoting poetry in general. If you appreciate the magnificent ways in which words can be twisted to do our bidding, you’re invited to stop by Samuel Smith Poetry. Here’s what you’ll find:
Poem of the Day/Poet of the Day: I’m sure I won’t get a new recommendation up every day, but as often as possible I’ll be posting a Poem o’ Day for you to reflect upon. Yesterday we celebrated Labor Day with Sandra McPherson’s “Resigning from a Job in a Defense Industry,” which engages the ambivalence so many of us feel about our work in a modern age that’s all too often antithetical to productive human values. We’ll try to be that thoughtful every day, if possible.
Actual poetry! I’ve just uploaded The Miles Between Here and Hone, a chapbook collection that was featured in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature back in April of 2003 (link is under the Notes tab). The chapper contains poems from my first two books, The Rainwater Chronicles and The Love Song of Ethan Brand (both of which, by the way, are looking for a publisher).
READER CONTRIBUTIONS: As noted, this community is about a lot more than my poetry. I didn’t invent poetry, I don’t own it, and some of my greatest discoveries have come when others told me about things. So if you’ll hit the page and click the “LIKE” button, you’ll be able to post your own thoughts, recommendations, and if you write, you can share your own words (and video and audio and whatever).
If you think this might be fun, stop by, and also please pass the word along to your friends and colleagues, assuming they’re fans of words.
Happy Tuesday, and my thanks to The Agonist for all their outstanding work.