Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Couldn' t Have Said It Better

Every once in awhile, I do this: Someone has said something perfectly and I think you should read it instead of what I planned to say today.

Stephen Pentz keeps a wonderful blog called "First Known When Lost." He is dedicated to starting discussions about great (and often lesser-known) poems. Mr. Pentz always includes his own comments on the poems and those comments are always insightful. On many occasions, they are nothing short of profound.

Certainly, pay close attention to the poem he has selected, but I was most taken with Stephen's succinct and powerful statement about the trends of social analysis for the sake of social change  -- what he calls "that social engineering busybodyness...that seems dismissive of both Nature and Human Nature." Poets, lovers of poetry (and annoying types like yours truly) intrinsically know that any social change has to happen within the individual human heart, not as a result of lab coat studies or of eggheaded "think tanks."

Give me one poet for a thousand sociologists; one graduate school poetry discussion for a million social "task forces;" one earnest young person with hands clasped tightly in prayer, in a midnight bedroom, for a billion droning congregations...

Here 's Stephen Pentz's post: How To Live, Part Seventeen: "Balances"


  1. "First Known When Lost" is a great blog, isn't it? Several books on my poetry shelf are there because Stephen introduced me to the poet in question. I only hope he doesn't burn out on blogging; he's beguilingly regular in his posting...

  2. I agree, Jeff. Such a good blog. The longer it lasts, the better, I say.