POET'S CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#004: September 2004
had a popular song that speaks of todays hot topic:
r-e-c-o-g-n-i-t-i-o-n. There are many definitions for this
word; let me paraphrase a few: acknowledgement, attention,
favorable notice, to know or to identify, approval, acceptance,
appreciation for...From our first cries as a new born, we
crave and look forward to moments of recognition from others.
The problem is that it is a scary thing for a lot of folks
to acknowledge others with praise or compliments. There are
some folks who find giving praise to others easier than accepting
the gift of praise for themselves. These folks are rare. Sad
as it seems, criticism seems to come easier and more often
than praise or positive recognition.
When a person writes down their thoughts and words, that person
is called to recognize his or her own feelings about those
words. To think a thought and then to physically write that
thought into words on paper is, when you think about it, a
miraculous event. Miraculous and scary. What have we created?
Is it the truth? Is it magic? Is it a message to self or to
others? Can it be ingredients for a p-o-e-m ? Oh my God, what
have I done?
When one distributes their words through email, or puts them
in an envelope with a stamp (remember those things we used
to call letters?), how those words will be received
is a mystery. You hope for a positive reaction to your words.
You can pray. But frankly, you just never know how your words
will be understood by others. Your words express your own
reality and experience. Each receiver of your words has his
or her own unique experience of life as well.
I may mention the word c-a-t. You might be a lover
or a hater of cats; you bring a unique experience to that
simple three letter word. Your opinion of cats
may not be the same as mine. Is this a bad thing or a good
thing? Am I a good witch or a bad witch, a Republican
or a Democrat? A dog lover or cat lover or both? And what
are you, the reader of these words? Does it matter? How can
we learn to rcognize and acknowledge each other?
our shared knowledge of words, we can reach a place of recognition
that is shared together. Words are powerful. They can heal.
They can wound. They can beg for miracles. Words need to be
written and they need to be heard by an audience of at least
one. You are your first audience. After that, who knows? Where
do you share your words ? To whom do you speak your words?
Are they locked inside your heart and mind? Are they on paper?
Are they merged into a poem, a story, an article? Do you write
words only for homework to be marked up by teachers bearing
evil red pens? That is for you to decide.
will hear the sounds of geese and cranes returning to winter
in our valley. They have their song to sing. They sing it
without judgement. Their flight song is as miraculous as your
words are. Think about this. Ponder it and see if you dont
have some words that others may benefit from seeing and hearing
because we have a place for your words...A contest with prize
money and a guaranteed audience to hear your words. Sure,
you can write words on paper just for the miraculous joy of
the process but if you can win money and recognition, so much
the better! So strike up the band...Take it away, Herb Alpert.
Kick it in Mantovani. Enter our contest. Mail in your poems.
Sing your song and take flight with us; you might win money
and give birth to r-e-c-o-g-n-i-t-i-o-n. And you know, it
just dont come easy.