Monday, October 27, 2008
About half a dozen members of the Tower Poetry Society spent several hours yesterday at the Chapters book store in Ancaster. We manned a table just inside the main doors, offering information and copies of some of our recent issues of TOWERpoetry for sale. A microphone and seating was provided on the raised area toward the back where most of us took the opportunity to read for the bookstore patrons.
The seats were not filled with a rapt audience with open ears and eyes and mouths. There was no thundering rush of people to instantly embrace the marvelous things offered. Much to the contrary. But then, what can you expect? This is poetry.
The question, as always, arose. Why do we do this? Why do we offer our art, our craft, our selves, to the disinterested? The answer is always the same: poets are part of the community and should not hide or be hidden from that community. We are not a secret society, safeguarding esoteric knowledge the common people can not understand.
However we do it: by public reading, by publishing in books or periodicals, by broadcasting using whatever medium suits, by one-on-one presentations or discussions, we keep poetry alive and relevant. In this way it will remain that fundamental part of civilization it has always been.