How the Internet Affected my Poetry
By Marge Tindal
At the age of raging teen hormones, I began to write poetry. Scribbles tucked away in
spiral notebooks, in diaries, inside covers of schoolbooks (for shame) and on the sole of
a worn-out tennis shoe, which I have to this day.
I kept them mostly for myself, sending an occasional one to well-loved relatives on
birthdays and at Christmas. Their praise was about what you'd expect from one who loves
you. Nothing but oooh's and aaah's. My mother actually submitted my first published piece
to her local newspaper when I was a teen.
When I began my family, I wrote with the heart of a mother expressing all the love and joy
that filled me with their presence in my life. Tucked away neatly in the cedar chest with
all the youthful writings preserved for generations to come.
Through the years I submitted poetry to newspapers when I saw something that caught my
fancy. My most serious writing began in 1982 and was inspired by a young friend that was
diagnosed with cancer. For two years, I poured my heart into the poetry I did for my
friend before she passed away. She had inspired me with her life and encouraged me to 'do
something with these beauties.'
Fast-forward to the days of 1998 when my son built my computer. I quickly learned to
e-mail my poetry to anyone that had any reason to need a quicker-picker-upper. Learning to
'surf' the Internet, I chanced upon pages of poetry at several sites and timidly submitted
an occasional verse. My first official Internet published poem was placed on
LovingYou.com. When I started getting e-mail compliments the fervor was born. Then the
accolades of having my work selected as Poem of the Day, Week or Month really started my
creative juices flowing.
It occurred to me that, though I had read many poets through the years, only on two
occasions had I taken the time to write a letter to thank them for their work. Perhaps
their enjoyment came from the reviews and the fact that they may have made a dollar or two
off of their poetry offerings. But here before me, on the internet, was the instant
gratification of knowing my work had been read and enjoyed.
In December 1998 I met a new friend on the Internet. He inspired me in my writing and
encouraged me to search my soul and the roots of my Cherokee Indian heritage. As a result,
some of the best writing I've done was born. When others began to ask for the poems that
told of the trials of my people on the Trail Of Tears, I knew that the Internet had
changed my writing forever.
I was notified that my first published poem at Passion's In Poetry was posted to the main
site on April 15, 1999. I sporadically read the poetry of others and e-mailed some of the
authors. I submitted to other sites and entered judged competitions. The pride of knowing
that my writing stood up to the merits of the judges was exhilarating.
I could reach into the homes and hearts of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people with my
poetry. I read lots of other poetry and answered every e-mail I got. Students began asking
if they could use my poetry in their classes at school. It was remarkable to me what the
potential for spreading my work around the globe could be. Quality was always important to
me and now became even more of a goal. The ultimate compliment was my first request from a
reader who asked permission to place one of my poems on her web page dedicated to the
atrocities of child abuse.
On November 6, 1999, I returned to Passion's In Poetry and discovered the Passionate
Forums. I read the works of others and the comments of the other poets. I was hooked. I
read the Help menu and decided that this was something I wanted to do. With some
apprehension of the instant viewing and responses I submitted my first poem to Passion's.
I was welcomed with open arms.
As I got settled in as a member of the Passionate Poets family, I really began to
understand what made poetry so interesting to me and to others. The enjoyment of getting
to know someone through the artistry of their words and their personalities made more
sense to me than all the 'book learning' of poetry had every done. Reaching out and
touching or being touched is the greatest feeling a poet can achieve.
I've been inspired and hopefully have inspired others that I've met through poetry. The
sharing of poetry thoughts and ideas with other writers is inspirational. The Internet
changed the presentation of my writing. I'm inclined to 'paint' my poems with graphics and
colored fonts that are pleasing to the eye. I know that I still write from my heart with a
fervor everyday. I now know that I can touch the hearts of people I could never have
reached before the advent of the Internet.
There are thousands of poets on the Internet who feel the same way. I want to thank them
all for having a talent that they share with others. The Internet will reach more people
than any medium of communication that has come before its inception. I'm pleased to be a
part of it with my poetry.
Passions in Poetry
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