Slow Poetry: An Introduction
by Dale Smith
Pondering the meaning of the "movement" he started thinking about last summer, Dale Smith wrote of what a poem does, that
"It's like opening a sliding-glass door, stepping outside, for a moment, and rubbing one's eyes in the sunlight of what's real."
He comments: "Suddenly, in that final sentence, I felt as though I'd moved into a place proper to the goals of Slow Poetry. It's a place familiar to readers of Charles Olson, who said, "Whatever you have to say, leave the roots on, let them dangle, And the dirt, Just to make clear where they come from." Regardless of what we face individually or communally or collectively, my sense was—and still is—that by our affection and affinity for disclosure of what is so often barely perceptible—life raw and undefined—we might advance a little toward better understanding what's happening to us. And through this knowledge we may be able to help each other, with greater resilience, adapt and respond to the changes we may face." READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY (please!)
Smith's remarkable poetic and political Introduction and the poems and essays that follow seem to me to open onto a world I've been sporadically visiting for many years. Every time I've left, I've wanted to go back. I want to live there permanently now. Everything I really care about is there. This collection has enough really fine and important pieces in it to keep one busy for a long time. Don't miss Karl Young's great essay Notation and the Art of Reading (and his introduction to it). I am particularly fond of Robert Bertholf's piece "The Vocabulary of Taste: Carlo Petrini and the Poetics of Slow Poetry" (it is the 2nd essay here)
Collage by Brooks Johnson