Radically Accessible Poetry

I’ve been thinking about an online journal, maybe called Radically Accessible Poetry. The poems in the journal would be anything I wanted to publish. The only criterion for publication is that they have an immediate impact. Of course, I would be the judge of that. It’s a tempting idea because so much poetry seems unavailable–that is, the content and the expression leave me unmoved. And there’s something particularly depressing in reading one presumably sincere effort after another and feeling so little.

In any case,  Radically Accessible Poetry (or RAP–what’s a journal without an acronym?) might include poems like the two I mentioned almost a year ago, as well as longer poems. Most poems would be short, though. For one thing, short poems are less demanding and therefore more accessible, and for another it’s easier to find good short ones than good long ones.

As I don’t want to start a whole new website for RAD, perhaps I’ll just assume my poetry entries here are the journal. Interesting that the flyer for WIlliam Stafford’s reading was from a May 8th in the past; too bad he’s not with us anymore to read poems like this:

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off—they were still singing.  They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then
ceased.  Her voice belled forth, and the
sunlight bent.  I felt the ceiling arch, and
knew that nails up there took a new grip
on whatever they touched.  “I am your own
way of looking at things,” she said.  “When
you allow me to live with you, every
glance at the world around you will be
a sort of salvation.”  And I took her hand.

William Stafford

I took this image from The Poetry Dispatch blog entry on William Stafford. You can see a few more of his radically accessible poems there.

 

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7 Responses to Radically Accessible Poetry

  1. This poem made my day.
    Thanks so much, Meryl.
    Pam

  2. I see the note that my first comment was “awaiting moderation.” Strange. I didn’t think it was that extreme. :-)

    • Meryl says:

      The first time you comment, it asks me to approve–that way I can filter out spam, etc. You’re set now! and that is a stunning poem!

  3. Joe Lamb says:

    Thanks for setting my eyeglasses buzzing.

  4. Meryl says:

    Yes, Joe! They’re jumping right off my nose!

  5. Sara Backer says:

    I came across your web site searching for “accessible poems”. I am trying to find out where the accessible poets–Bill Stafford, Ted Kooser, Billy Collins, etc.–first got published. Before their books came out, they must have found journals willing to publish individual poems. Has anyone compiled/come across a list?

    • Meryl says:

      Sara, The way to find out is to look at the acknowledgments page in their first books. I have a book of Stafford’s work from 1952, and credits include Atlantic Monthly, Bottege Osure, Carleton Miscellany, Colorado Quarterly and many others. You could research at your local library. My own publication record is dismal, so I don’t have any advice to offer.

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