Good evening, friend. Welcome to the Pub for this week’s Open Link Night. My name’s Joe Hesch and I’ll be wearing the host’s tools tonight–this cool apron around my waist and an expression of welcome to you, dear traveler in the lonely life of the poet and writer.
While we are in the process of weaving words into something more than the sum of their parts, we are generally alone. Yep, alone with our creative thoughts in a quiet writing space (if you’re lucky enough to have one), in a crowded coffee shop, or even a bustling joint like the one we’re palavering in now.
One of my writing heroes when I was younger was the great American journalist, essayist, and curmudgeon Henry Louis Mencken. Old H.L. was a writer’s writer and, as such, was someone you might want to hear when he talked on the subject. In his 1928 book, “What a Life!” the Sage of Baltimore said:
The writing profession is reeking with this loneliness. All our lives we spend in discoursing with ourselves. . . . The loneliest people in the world we writers are. Except that, while we are conversing and laughing with ourselves, we manage to shed our loneliness . . . to scatter it as we go along.
No less a writer then my ultimate secret mentor, Ernest Hemingway, talked about our lonely pursuit in his speech at the banquet held when he received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. Papa said:
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
Ouch. A little on the dark side there, but his message seems to be you cannot improve as a writer unless you work alone every day. Even belonging to writing groups won’t help you improve.
But Papa wasn’t you or I. We know we create alone and are willing to meet with other such afflicted souls here at the shiny bar Joy left for us last week. What we have here is a chance for you to be among your own, not necessarily to seek improvement, but the support of others to keep improving, keep writing, keep creating and sharing each week.
So, take a seat here in our “Clean, Well-lighted Place,” the dVerse Poets Pub, and mingle with others. Share your work, share your opinion, and share your goodwill to your fellow poets. It’s how we can feel less alone and ultimately sustained to dive into that lonely place again. That gloriously lonely place!
Here’s how you can participate:
- Post a poem on any topic to your blog,
- Link in the poem you’d like to share (1 per blog, please) by clicking on the Mr.Linky button just below.
- This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog url and entered your name, simply click Submit.
- Don’t forget to let your readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post.
- Visit as many other poems as you like, commenting as you see fit.
- Remember, this is a supportive gin mill of words. Keep this palaver going with your fellow poets, talk, chat, comment, let them know their work is being read, and enjoy the input you’ll also receive. Go ahead, tweet and share on the social media of your choice.
- Enjoy this time we have together! Tomorrow, it’s back to that wonderful loneliness again.