||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.
|Interview with Michael
Anderson by Krista Lee Knutson
Michael & Son
|Krista: When did you first start
become interested in writing and what (if anything) inspired it?
Michael: As long I can remember I've had a love for "rhyme." I
was one of those seven year old kids who drove his parents crazy singing rhymes off the
top of my head as loud as i could in the back seat of the car.
far as "writing" itself, When I was a sophomore in high school, my English
teacher read us a poem. It was called, "Alone" - by Edgar Allan Poe. I cried
right there in class. It was the first time in my life I felt someone understood me. I
wrote my first "real" poem shortly after.
Krista: I know that I find certain
emotions and certain times of day evoke my creativity with writing. Is this the same for
you, and if so when do you write the most?
Michael: It's not so much the time of day with me, It's more tagged to my
emotion I think. When I am depressed I seem to write the most. My poetry serves as a
release for some of the less appealing emotions... LOL I do notice, however, when the moon
is full I seem to be much more inspired to write, whether or not emotion is involved.
Krista: Ok, I know people are interested in knowing about the people
behind the poetry, so let's look into that a bit. What can you tell about yourself? Likes,
dislikes, views on life, etc.
Michael: Well, about myself - I am a rebel down to the bone. Give me a
rule, I'll be sure to break it. I don't conform to Society very well. Will probably die in
jail somewhere. Likes: I like the outdoors, nature. The feeling of freedom. I love roller
coasters - motorcycles are becoming a keen interest with me. I love thrill seeking - am
dying to learn how to skydive.
Krista: How has Passions come to play in your life? What kind of effect
has the exposure to so many forms of poetry and to so many people (both friends and those
whom you have no relationship with) had upon you?
Michael: In Oct., 1998 I was posting on another poetry forum on the
internet. For the most part, that was all I did. Post, reply maybe a little. For the most
part the names I saw were just that - names.
That was when I ran into a man named Ron Carnell. He had posted a poem. I liked his
"style" of writing so I decided to check out his website, Passions in Poetry. It
was a brand new site with 20 or so poems posted, all by Ron, himself. His emotion poured
in all of his works and his love for poetry I felt equal to mine, if not more so. So I
posted a poem. It was for all intents and purposes a turning point in my life.
Ron and I became fast friends, as well as Poet deVine, who was my only internet friend
before I came to Passions. I had told Ron from early on that his site would become the
most popular site on the net. He didn't believe me at first. He does now. I was not
surprised to see the growth of Passions at all, but I was surprised to make so many
friends, myself. I had always been quiet, and tend to like life in the shadows. It became
impossible to hide with so many caring people out there. Passions truly is my family.
I do receive a lot of attention from people I don't know as well. I only wish I had more
time in the day to reach out to them as they reach out to me. I can't always reply to them
all, but I do give them all of my heart in everything I write. That is the least I can do.
My poetry has grown leaps and bounds also since coming to Passions. I have learned so many
things on forms and techniques that have help my writing immensely. I think the Workshops
at Passions are a God send for any serious poet. And though the teachers may not always
know I'm hiding in the back of the class, they are doing a wonderful job.
Krista: Michael, which poem have you written that you feel the most proud
Michael: For me, that would be Gossamer's Fandango.
Michael added that Poe is his favorite poet. He also suggested to me that we add his very
first poem, which I thought was a wonderful idea. So, here it is.
by Michael Anderson
|The night is silent as the lights go down.
Only the sound rain makes to the ground.
Lightning strikes across the sky,
Commands attention, then it dies.
But for one brief moment it ruled the night,
Flashing across the heavens, bold and bright.
Yet it was there and gone so fast,
Close your eyes, you still see the flash.
It didn't have to make a sound,
It lived till it burned to the ground.
Leaving the mark that alone won't lie,
Babe, lightning never strikes twice.
It's strong and powerful, bright and vast.
So tell me how come it can't last?
A bird can spread its wings to fly,
But it can only fly so high.
The lightning strikes across the sky,
Giving its life unto the night.
Bright as the fire was in your eyes,
For one brief moment, it touched our lives.
Commanded our hearts and our souls, then it died.
And lightning never strikes twice.
Note: If you would like to learn more about Michael, please check out his website.
Also, check out Michael's substantial contributions to
Mid Point - Our Second Poem
By Danny Holloway
|Words dancing cross computer screen
to one not near and face unseen
back and forth chosen words said
wanting more as each line read
words written with soulful inflection
feelings sent thru net connection
hopes and needs easy to confess
sent by each via e-mail address
aching hearts having gone unmet
sharing passion thru the internet
yearning to know what each would do
if eyes could meet and dreams come true
two hearts waiting thru endless day
for connection to electronic highway
as night fades more of each exposed
thoughts and dreams in words composed
together in spirit, their souls in sync
desires expressed thru computer link
a fantasy meeting known only in dreams
forever this longing, hopeless it seems
soft whispers coming only in word
touching a screen, pretending it's heard
strangers reaching for shared unity
beyond a faceless net identity
scrolling letters, a baring of souls
onto a dimlit screen that glows
from a distance their hearts can see
what binds them now, will set them free
My Muse - Where I Get My
By Angel (Susie)
Where do I get my inspiration? Now there is a question. As of late, I think my muse has
been on vacation, she left me for a couple days. Normally, I find inspiration in life. I
write what I feel. Writing has become more or less a sanctuary for me, a place where I go
when the world has turned its back on me and no one else is willing to listen. My notebook
has become one of my greatest confidants, the one who will always understand, even when I
do not. I have written some of my favorite poems and short stories at times when I
believed I was too confused and upset to write anything at all. On the other side of the
story, I have written pieces that made absolutely no sense to even me at times when I
believed I was completely at ease with myself.
A lot of what I write comes from my surroundings. I believe poets are masters at
expressing what they feel and I hope I am on my way to mastering the art of expression. If
something affects my life a great deal, then it becomes very likely that I will at least
try to write about it. As I read through the tablet in which I write all my hopes, dreams,
and fears in short story or poetic form, I realize that the topics cover quite a wide
spectrum. I also come to the conclusion that I enjoy writing from the point of view of
another person, be it one of my friends who is in a tough situation or someone I have
never even met. I enjoy walking a mile in someone's shoes, so to speak.
Honestly, most of the time, I am unsure of where or when my inspiration comes to me. I do
know, that most of the time, it is when I least expect it, while other times it dances
around in my head for hours, or even days before I get the right words express it. I am
not able to simply sit down and write a poem, like some poets, I just have to let the
words come to me, no matter when it happens to be. If I don't want to write it down at
that very second, I've lost it. It may come to me at midnight or noon when I am sitting in
school, but eventually it does come. I believe that all poets and writers alike find
inspiration wherever they want. Some find their inspiration in a sunset, some in what they
feel, and some, I suppose are like me and wait for their inspiration to come along. No
matter where we find our inspiration, we are all one and the same, people who find joy in
writing and love to express whatever we feel.
Poetic Search Engines
By Christopher Ward
Your assignment, should you be willing to be masochistic, is to search out poetry on the
Internet. Really, one wouldn't think this too difficult a task. I started as basically
anyone would: I typed in the URL of my favorite search engine:
Then I typed into the search field: "Poerty."
Huh, only four listings?
Oh, they spelled it wrong too.
Great. This is why I love the Internet. You type in a simple word and you get back a
million different links. So what we have here, is our choice between a meager 1000
"poets" listings; 650 some-odd sites related to "Web Published
Poetry;" Over 100 online magazines; And something that starts with three
"X's." All I wanted to do was to read some poetry, is it that much to ask?
Ok, so to make a short story short, I clicked on a quadrillion links. And while I found
many sites to renew my faith in humanities' collective dysfunctional psyche, I found very
few real poetry sites. (I think half the sites were really "adult" sites
pretending to be poetic.)
But I persevered! After all, I'd only clicked on about a quarter of those quadrillion
links. Well, lost amid the tangle of self-proclaimed legends and those claiming to
actually be literate, I found "poetry," (and I use the term LOOSELY!,) ranging
from the abstract to the fantastic, the bad to the worse. And what do you know, I even
found some good stuff! Though by the time I got to that, my mind had already melted into a
puddle beneath my chair, but hey, that's the price to pay for achieving such a state of
Yes, eventually I was able to find some great places to read poetry!
Of course my eyes weren't working that well anymore, and my idea of what was good was by
that time relative to some writing that I won't even torture you with! But what I realized
it came down to, was luck. Like so many things on the Internet, there's only so many ways
you can refine a search... and it's really hard to refine a search on poetry. For some
reason, if you try to search for "good" poetry, you still end up with the same
links. (And a LOT more adult sites!) But for those with nothing but time on their hands,
more patience than a stone statue, a constitution similar to that of a politician's aide
and an idea of what poetry really is, can certainly find a site on the Internet to suit
their taste. (You may be too old by then to appreciate it, but look at it as life
I know I for one, am NOT doing that again! Next time, I'll stick with Passions in Poetry,
or go buy a book. I don't know about you, but I don't have the sanity left to spare
Closing Point - our
|The Internet Poet's Wife
By Linda S. White
|We used to just sit and talk,
And sometimes we'd hold hands and walk.
That was before the Internet life,
Now our marriage is filled with strife!
Now he's in an Internet poetic fog,
And I just want him to feed the dog.
He frames poems with birthday wishes,
I just wish he would help with dishes.
He sits e-mailing for hours and hours,
Whatever happened to sending flowers?
I have framed poems on all the walls,
And I just hate those voice-mail calls.
He types and e-mails up into the night,
In the morning he looks such a fright.
He Internets for hours by the clocks,
I just wish he would pick up his socks.
He has no time for huggin'and kissin',
He thinks his mail he'll be missin'!
He used to say I made him complete,
With this computer stuff I can't compete.
The love life has gone down the drain,
But finding someone new, is such a pain!
So I think I'll sit him down and explain,
I was so much happier before the Internet came!
You say, 'What if that doesn't seem to work?'
I can always beat the #%#* out of the jerk!!
(Aah...I knew he would see it my way!!)
(c) 1999 Linda White
(wife of Forum poet David L. White)
The Final Word
by Poet deVine
"Poetry on the Internet" will be a recurring feature in Digital Passions, after
all that's how we all met! We will bring you more interviews with Passions poets, more
reviews of their websites and more glimpses into the lives of our poets.
We have all heard that poetry is dead. But those that are saying that probably do not have
a computer and have not been surfing the web in the last five years. For here, on the
Internet, poetry is alive and well. Christopher's humorous article about finding millions
of sites dedicated to poetry is really true. If you type in "poetry"(spelled
correctly) you will find more sites dedicated to poetry than you can imagine.
My first foray onto the Internet consisted of posting poetry on the old MiningCo.com
forum. Wow! Instant gratification. Then I met Ron and submitted a poem for the
"Passions in Poetry" site. When it was accepted, I was ecstatic. For the first
time, someone other than my family and friends liked my poetry. I began to write more. I
created a website. Then another. Then updated the first one. I quickly became addicted to
graphics (another story) and then in March 1999, I joined the Passions Forum. And found
that there are thousands of poets in the world seeking the same thing, as I - a place to
find truth and beauty and tolerance. Passions in Poetry. My home.
In the next few months, you will get to know more of our Passionate Family. I know you
will like them, enjoy their work and look forward to reading more from them. If you have a
suggestion for an article, if there is a particular poet you would like to know more about
or if you want to submit an article or poem to Digital Passions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I
look forward to hearing from you.
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