During this National Poetry Month 2013, I have found myself considering all the reasons I am grateful for the presence of poetry in my life and in this world. Among those reasons is the fact that there was a time, in years not so long ago, when I struggled inside a kind of “dark night of the soul”––one that in many ways appeared to reflect an eclipse of the world’s collective soul–– and it was the voices of living poets that called to me from unknown distances and took it upon themselves through their own brilliant writings to reaffirm my purpose and efforts. By doing so, they helped to re-empower the same. Their writings played no small role in motivating the labors required for me to move forward as one chapter of my life ended and another began.
It may be that poetry’s real beauty and elegance is not its finely-chiseled lines or smoothly-rounded ideological concepts at all. The crown of its significance might be––or possibly should be?––its expansive capacity to embrace with equal passion the deadliest failings and the most splendid victories that define human existence. Poetry is less a respecter of individual persons than it is a compassionate witness to the meanings of the secret language that beats inside human hearts, the music that pulses through human cries, and the divinity that shines love beyond the veils of human limitations.
Communities of Present-day Poets
Just as it was for many other contemporary authors, it was ancestral poets––such as Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, John Milton, and Henry Dumas––who first led me to recognize the poet within myself. But it was communities of present-day poets who, simply by being themselves, made some important differences when it seemed my writing pen had run completely dry. Savannah’s Receding Wave poetry troupe, The Poetry Society of Georgia, The Savannah Writers Workshop, and inspired members of online communities fed my faith in what words might accomplish and re-empowered that part of my will which lived inside my pen.
The gratitude I feel toward all of them remains profound. I am especially humbled to acknowledge those who not only provided commentaries on my works in progress but who allowed me to share notes on theirs. Moreover, some actually dedicated poems to my efforts and by doing so lent wisdom and strength from their journey that added a major boost to mine. Listed below are poems which were either dedicated to my efforts, which are always ongoing, or written in response to them, and for which I once more thank the authors for blessing my literary labors with the artistry and genius of their own. It is possible there are other poems which I am unaware of and I thank those poets as well. The list is alphabetical by title followed by author and post/publication date:
Blessings of Literary Fellowship
- Aberjhani by Eileen T. Waldron (March 11, 2006)
- After Aberjhani by Kate Burnside (Nov 11, 2005)
- Archetype of a Soulsinger by Mari D’India (July 8, 2005)
- Illuminat’d Paths by Karla “Stormspinner” Dorman (July 8, 2006)
- Most Talented with a God Given Talent for Weaving Words of Heartfelt Wonder by Grange Lady Haig Rutan (March 20, 2012)
- Onyx of Savannah by Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU (Oct 23, 2005)
- Royalty by Patricia Andres (circa 1995)
- Savannah Moss by Jerry Pat Bolton (Feb 16, 2008)
- Stranded by Danny C. Sillada (Sept 2010 Occasion of 3rd Anniversary of CTI)
- The Ambassador of Helicon by André Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU (Jan 31, 2008)
- The Gift by Karla Stormspinner Dorman (July 6, 2008)
- The Poet Emerson Wanted to Meet by Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU (Jan 25, 2010)
- The Wild Stallion by Glynn Miles (circa 1997)
- The Young Poet and the Painter --by Carol Phelan Aebby (Jan 9, 2013)
- This Mother’s Son in Starlight by Nordette Adams (Feb 8, 2006)
- When God Doesn’t Make Sense (prose) by Karen Lynn Vidra (Sept 2, 2006)