C.D. Wright: Even though I get blatantly sick of poetry… I cannot for the life of me imagine my life without it. By extension, I wonder, how can anyone live without it. Poetry takes you into the recesses of the language, the neglected corners, cracks and crannies and to the big sky of wonder. It opens the door to a critique without which you have rather boring analytical tools by comparison. To cultivate poetry means to stay with it. Not to abandon hope, but to abide. There is an idealism associated with poetry I would not dispel but question. It doesn’t change anything except within. It shifts your insides around. Poetry is not going to reach the numbers of people by which we commonly consider a large audience. It just isn’t a stadium-filler. It could still galvanize people during a crisis, but let’s just say, as I heard Heather McHugh tell an ample audience, there are two points at which poetry is indispensable to people—at the point of love and the point of death. I’ll second that emotion.
poem: Frank Stanford