September 12, 2012

I've never needed poetry more


Dear Friends of Poetry,

"Urge and urge," wrote Walt Whitman, "always the procreant urge of the world." At the height of late summer nothing could seem more true. This year's garden has yielded a dizzying volume of cucumbers, and the tomato vines sprawl everywhere, while down in the pond a troop of tadpoles prepare for whatever lies ahead for the next generation of frogs.

But of course there's a counter rhythm, too. I'm not teaching this semester, but I still found myself unable to resist buying a new book bag, and a new pair of shoes. Season of new beginnings, starting again. Cool nights, warming colors, sharper stars, friends coming back together after time scattered, the stimulation of a new season in the city.

Not the least of that spark comes from the Poets Forum, the Academy's annual gathering of voices, coming up October 18-20 in New York City. This essential annual colloquy provides the best of company, and it reminds me that we have never needed poetry more than we do now. The art brings us together, shows us where we are, stirs us to greater life. I hope you'll come join us this October, and drink it in.

Mark Doty
The Springs, NY

Chancellor, Academy of American Poets

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