Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Online poetry link No. 2 ...

Today's link is to Four Poems by C.E. Chaffin. Chris O'Carroll, who sent me this link, descriv=bes Chaffin as a "larger-than-life figure in the online poetry world" and suggested I Google him. So I did. I found C. E. Chaffin's Blog. And this Tryst Interview .

Since this is a blog that's supposed to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at what I do, I figured I might as well keep you informed on my thoughts about this article I'm planning as they develop. That's the advantage of blogging, right?
So here goes. I'm thinking that, given the size of the topic, the most I can hope to do in an article is provide an overview - and a portal to the work. I am planning on quoting a good deal of what has been said in the emails I have received and the comments that have been posted here. I think we ought to be able to find space in the paper for some poems. And right here, on this very blog, I ought to be able to put together on the day the piece runs in the paper, a fairly comprehensive set of links and maybe a good sampler of poems, something like a Carnival of Online Poetry (it wouldn't be the first; I know that, because I linked to one a while back).
Well, that's where my head is so far. Comment away, folks.


  1. Sounds good to me. I don't "keep up" with poetry so I think it is a nice idea (as well as your poem of the day).

    I used to read a lot of poetry when I was young. Why did I stop?

    I think one reason is that bookshops and libraries are not that good -- obviously they stock the classics but they don't keep up with contemporary stuff (for unavoidable if sad economics reasons probably).

    Another great benefit of the internet and blogging is that experts such as you, Frank, can filter for us and provide us with some spiritual refreshment in an accessible way. (Well, accessible in the sense of ability to read, not necessarily in the sense of being able to understand the poem!).

    Thanks again

  2. Dear Mr. Wilson,

    I am honored to be mentioned in your blog through the good offices of my friend and fellow poet, Chris O'Carroll. I recently came across a quote by Helen Vendler, who when asked whether the net could become influential in poetry, responded "I hope not."

    Knopf features a daily poetry list-serv this month, as April is "Poetry Month." (It's been said that when you have to assign a cause to a month, the cause is in sad shape, whether it's Black History or Poetry Month.)

    Knopf's mailings feature a re-hash of all the usual suspects who have appeared in print, because all "respectable" presses who publish poetry, including Knopf, are, to my knowledge, closed to any ms. submissions-- except for the suspects they have already accumulated, which puts them 20 years behind the current scene IMHO (in my humble opinion).

    Poetry is a status-driven loss leader for publishers, which naturallly leads to a calcification in their choices-- where we stand today. And the major poetry competitions, I believe, make more money from entry fees than pubishing a few hundred copies of the winner costs them. That's a nice racket.

    I offer no solutions. I published and edited The Melic Review ( for near nine years, and I hope we acquitted ourselves with distinction in relation to the world of established voices, although we did deign to publish a few Pulitzer winners on occasion. ;-)

    Here's a quote an editor took from one of my poems:

    "What poetry most lacks is an audience worthy of it."

    Ah that more would put down their I-Pods by a shady oak and slowly absorb a few good poems!

    I think our educational system mainly prejudices us against poetry, sadly. To be forced to read Frost or Dickinson is a terrible thing.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Thine in Truth and Art,

    C. E. Chaffin

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