National Poetry Month is over now, and the poetry readers of America can go back to loving poetry in private, as many of us are inclined to do, rather than performing our love in poetry in public, which seems necessary for reminding those outside of our clan that poetry is a thing.
Sometimes I feel alone in the culture as a poetry lover, but I never feel alone with poems. At some level I know that a poem is a well-wrought collection of words, divorced from the writer’s intention etc., but the poems that make me stop what I’m doing and read again feel more like people than linguistic constructs. I like keeping company with poems that have a strong voice and an idiosyncratic way of seeing the world.
Like good friends, good poems can be more complicated than is convenient. Sometimes they don’t make much sense. Sometimes they confess something ugly or remind us that we’re acting like jerks. But then sometimes they comfort us when we’re sad or say something that cracks us up.
I know when you, poets, submit to The Cossack Review, you’re not submitting yourselves. I’m not necessarily looking for the most personal poems, but I hope you’ll send your most person-like ones. I look forward to making their acquaintance.…