Friday, 14 January 2011

In Poetry

Today is a day to be thankful.  I have two poems in the February 2011 issue of Poetry, which arrived a few minutes ago in the post (delayed by a thunderous downpour earlier).  I am one of the asterisked poets (there are other fine poets included as well of course) - my first time in this, the greatest, and most significant of all poetry magazines in the English language.  I count this as one of the highlights of my life so far - not better than my wedding, or first real kiss, but on a par with graduation, my first book, that sort of thing.

So - huge.  And why?  Because I remember, as if it was yesterday, the first time I heard of Poetry, when reading about Ezra Pound, when I was 14 - he became my hero.  I recall reading Poetry in university, in the library at Sir George Williams.  The slim, tidy magazine has been a part of my life, and what it means to be a poet, for 30 years.  Did I ever think I'd appear in its pages?  Not on your life.

I dream big, but not that big.  Now, faced with this true delight, bittersweet feelings intrude - the poems were occasioned by (among other things) deep personal sorrow, and hint at subjects of a most intimate nature.  However, they are poems firstly, and I am proud of them, and so glad they have the best possible platform in which to reach other readers.

Writing and sending out poetry - at any stage of a writing life - is tough, and filled with setbacks - but sometimes there are the "gravy" moments, as Raymond Carver used that word.  Icing on the cake, a rainbow, a slant of light, a voice in the wilderness - an epiphany - some moments are gift horses.  Take the magazine and run about the room, whooping it up.  As ABC once sang, with improbable joy - yippikiyay!
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