There are many sorts of deserts; deserts beyond ourselves,
deserts within ourselves, and deserts crafted between nature and ourselves.
Poetry constitutes one such desert.
Whereas the wilderness of poetry is a region that contemporary
culture has largely terraformed, it remains, nonetheless, a transfiguring and
baffling province. Sure, our society proffers nonfiction books, like
biographies about T.E. Lawrence, and fictitious accounts, like the legend
Hidalgo, for mapping out routes through the verities of sands influence
upon humanity and of humanitys influence upon sand, but those standards
provide unsatisfactory perspectives on passionate writings hidden wilds.
We need additional illumination of the harsh genre that is poetry if our
prosody is to retain mastery of form, of style, and of technique.
Consider that within this abandoned ecosphere, in general,
people become acquainted with barrenness as an emotional district from which
effuses both vitality and mortality. More specifically, in most cases, people
encounter poetry as desert winds, from harmattans to simooms, which chase away
local precipitation. They encounter poetry as desert birds, especially nectar
eaters, both the iridescent males and the drab females, which frequent window
boxes, conveying the music of hot days and of cold nights. They encounter
poetry as the united forces of light and of drip irrigation and as the
resulting profusion of produce that those elements afford. They encounter
poetry, too, as the plague of international conflict.
Although powerful dangers hide in poetrys hills and sand
dunes, and although poetry culls flora and fauna equipped with horns and sharp
teeth, folks feel summoned, anyway, to inhabit poetic scripts. The greatest
fragments of fire, after all, are buried in the most silent places. Neither the
extreme of white picket fences nor of urban grit, whats more, is suitable
for determining poetrys epistemology of eventualities, those prospects
that are sometimes hostile, always mysterious. Poetrys geography calls
for new and different prowesses than those found among and regarding ordinary
Settlers, who attempt to transverse poetrys intellectually
scorched, spaces, where beauty and hardship get adulated in tandem, thus,
require fresh maps. The punitive nature of lyric necessarily demands that we
provide it with unsullied likenesses and untarnished guidance.
Literatures most challenging clime mandates that we writers yield more,
not fewer, revelations about it.
In years to come, few parties will want to or will be able to
pull up URLs of scientific or of political findings on
the rhythmic quality of language. Yet, during that same span, many people will
still manifest interest in the memoirs of poets and in global collections of
verse. Our literary desert will long impact us.
Consequently, we cant leave poetry to the media, either
mass or convergent; theyve inadequate tools for defining our back
country. Rather, our voices, those of us writers, must be brought into being to
insure that polities permanent references to our desolate, bookish abode
are veritable ones. It is up to us to generate copy. We are the individuals
tasked to reveal, through and about cantos and stanzas, the human races
intimate experiences, including the certainties that: childbirth hurts
incredibly, yet is necessary for continuity, the soldiers who populate rough
country skirmishes are often our own sons, rainwater is no mascot of NGOs, but
a requirement for everyones survival, and where there is heat, there can
We writers need to persist on documenting the profundities of
literatures most inhospitable locale. We need to add our parental voices,
our spouse-type tongues, our wisdom of poverty, and our sagacity formed from
our gift of imagination art, to the surfeit of cold, statistical information on
the allegedly austere regions of narrative and as
vignette. Our writer eyes and stomachs can give life to our
contemplative sandbanks. Our writer estrogen or testosterone can bring palpable
texture to our civilizations otherwise flat and flaccid accounts.
To be part of that industry, to annotate life as verse, to
champion the creative communitys ongoing effort to include and to
emphasize poetic texts, to once more make trendy the least populated realm of
esteemed folios, we need to pioneer alternative records of texts, and we need
to be willing to forge unconventional texts. We need to fashion manuscripts
that reflect our unprotected surfaces as well manuscripts that expose our
denuded resources. We need to write about that position, where corroborated
liquid endures as a luxury, and where artistic tribal conflicts
remain a fact. We need to dwell in the desert known as poetry.