While in Exile
I’ve spent a lot of time probing Facebook while in suspension from Facebook. Actually, it wasn’t a total blackout. My pages worked fine. I could post my poetry there as I usually do: one 7 – 40 liner per day. And I could exchange comments with my readers. My timelines worked fine. I was also free to search Groups freely. What I was not allowed to do was to make any contact with any Groups. There were some quirks: I could signal as many Likes as I wanted, but could not post comments. I slipped under that gate a few times, but generally it was rigidly enforced. I may take the time someday (but not today) to find out exactly why I was suspended and exactly what the rules are. Some of this I am gradually figuring out on my own. All and all the suspension worked out to my advantage as I spent the time doing some very extensive and thorough research which I think will be helpful.
I’ve scanned and read content of maybe 75 Groups, ditto hundreds of poets and thousands of poems. (And in the process have probably contracted diabetes.) I’ve selected a small number of Groups I like and would like to become associated with by making submissions. I also have a short list of poets whose work I will surely follow. I’ve made a larger list of Maybes and a long list of Groups for whom my work is not suitable or which would not be comfortable or appropriate venues for my work or goals.
Some (not unsurprising) revelations: most (yes, most) of the poetry presented is about love in one form or another. A lot (yes, a lot!) of it is in one way or another religious in nature, usually containing the words Jesus, God and so forth. Much of it is about Nature in some guise. In my opinion, Nature is one of the most difficult categories to try to describe without being inundated with numbing clichés. (That goes for the first two categories as well.) These are deal breakers except for the rare pure expressions of excellence or magnificence I am grateful to encounter. There are so many other things to make poetry out of and make it fresh, original and interesting. During these travels I came across some that brought tears to my eyes, others that riveted my eyes to the page and gave me goosebumps of wonder at my good fortune in randomly or accidentally lucking into these feelings of companionship, recognition and admiration.
One of them in particular has me feeling humbly honored at making the acquaintance of such an extraordinarily gifted poet as if by accident. I had been hitting the Like button whenever it seemed the honest and right thing to do. Gradually I had been dotting my trail with these signals that this poem or that had caught, snagged or arrested my attention. I have to say that these were the minority, but such is the nature of poetry. “No two people read the same book.”
Late in the evening I got a personal message from a poet inviting me to join his group. I replied, “Yes, please. Thank you.” Then I asked him what was the name of the group. “Poet Richard Wilson Moss,” he said. So I opened it up and began reading. Four hours later I was still reading, mesmerized and satisfied. I was compelled to click Like after every single one of his poems because that is how I truly felt about them. Thank you Richard for inviting me into the ranks of such esteemed company.
Robbie Whelan is another poet in that group whose every poem I liked. It started oddly. I scanned his first few quickly because his use of language can appear to be in code at first. Several of his poems later I slowed down and read one several times. Then I went back and started over with him and lo and behold felt that I was on the same wavelength as he was. Thereafter his poetry resonated with perfect communication. Thank you, Robbie. I “Liked” all of yours as well, every single one. I look forward to reading and rereading both of these poets. This is what I had been looking for, hoping for, the world I so much wanted to enter.
I’m going to start taking notes on the other special poets whose work I have discovered, to my reward and pleasure. I will, in the future mention them all as they turn up.
®Copyright 2015 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.