(Poetry Diary 258 – 6/8/17) I’m picking up my poetry diary again, now that the academic year is over and there’s less poetry-news out there to report. Keeping this sort of diary, i.e. one for which one searches for poems relating to one’s life and current events, is an excellent way of finding poems one wouldn’t otherwise.
I find most of the poems for these segments via the Poetry Foundation and Poets.org. I wish that other sites had search engines that were as good. One reason I keep track of the dailies here & try to tag the entries w/keywords as much as I can is to make it more possible for others to find good poems in these forums via keyword searches…at least via this blog. (To see an example of how it works here, type “deer” into the Tribrach search box. There have been a decent # of poems about deer published these past few years….) One of my dreams is that all of the dailies and online magazines and other online poetry publications will start employing search engines and tags as well, making it easier for readers to browse their sites for poems that might relate to their own lives.
For example, I’ve been out of work for the past two days again w/a sick child, who is thankfully now much better. I typed “sick child” into the Poetry Foundation search engine today, expecting to find either something maudlin or nothing at all. I was surprised and pleased to find “Night Thoughts Over a Sick Child” by Philip Levine:
NIGHT THOUGHTS OVER A SICK CHILD
Numb, stiff, broken by no sleep,
I keep night watch. Looking for
Signs to quiet fear, I creep
Closer to his bed and hear
His breath come and go, holding
My own as if my own were
All I paid. Nothing I bring,
Say, or do has meaning here.