“Why Bother” by Sean Thomas Dougherty

Because right now there is someone

Out there with

a wound in the exact shape

 of your words.


“Why Bother” by Sean Thomas Dougherty from The Second O of Sorrow (BOA Editions Ltd. 2018).

Lisel Mueller wrote:

Still, love is the impulse from which poetry springs. Even dark poems, Especially dark poems. To know the worst and write in spite of that, that must be love. To celebrate what’s on the other side of the darkness. Truly great poetry always sprung from love-in-spite-of, like love for a deeply flawed person.

And if it’s true as [William Carlos] Williams wrote, that people die from lack of what is found in poems, then poetry must not be trivial, peripheral, ivory-towerism as it is often accused of being; then we have a responsibility to speak to and for others. Certainly that means acknowledging suffering. But it also means to heal, to bring delight and hope; It implies consolation. How to console without being false, shallow or sentimental. I find that the hardest challenge.

Words for the Year is returning, at least for now … at least until we get to “the other side of the darkness.” Why bother? Because I cannot get Sean Thomas Dougherty’s words out of my mind. Because you or someone out there has “a wound in the exact shape / of (these) words.” Because right now it’s what I can do.

* Poets and publishers, I ask your lenience if in my haste to publish I may not immediately link to your websites and/or source material. Many of my posts will be from my phone where it is difficult to insert forwarding links; triage, if you will, in my rush to heal and console. I promise to edit posts in the near future to add book and/or bio links.

* Friends, I may be slow to reply to comments and emails. I’ll share more personal thoughts in the days ahead. But for now, please know how much I’ve missed you and how I desperately hope you are safe and healthy. Why bother? Because of you, gentle reader.

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.” ~ Barry Lopez, Crow and Weasel



17 thoughts on ““Why Bother” by Sean Thomas Dougherty

  1. Mike Mirarchi

    Yay!!! Welcome back, Christy! I’ve missed you and your words and the words of others that you share with us. I’m so happy you and your blog are coming back! Now, more than ever, we need good poetry. 🙂 I recently discovered the blog of the poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, who posts a poem of hers every day:


    The poems that she’s writing for our time are amazing! Here’s an example:

    A Change in the Light

    Now while the moon

    is hiding behind the clouds

    now when the rain

    is falling midwinter,

    and now that they’ve told us

    not to hug or kiss each other

    for fear of contracting

    and spreading disease,

    yes now is the time to find

    whatever light we have

    been hiding inside us—

    whatever measure of brilliance

    we’ve managed to conceal

    from each other, from ourselves—

    now is the time to bring forth

    that luminescence and offer it

    freely to the world, now

    when light matters most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really gorgeous, Mike, thank you for sharing Rosemerry’s piece! I’ve been considering adding a page here where everyone can share a favorite poem (even their own poetry) or just leave a comment or question and others can share and reply; a guest book if you will to help everyone feel less anxious and alone. Little poems like the ones you’re so great at finding would be fabulous there. I’ll let you know when/if I get that page up.

      Life has been one thunderstorm after another this past year, each storm postponing my return, but this current storm puts everything else in perspective, you know? A global storm.

      Anyway, it’s nice to be back. I’ve missed your cheery comments! I hope you, yours and your family are well, Christy


      1. Mike Mirarchi

        I’m sorry this past year has been a stormy year for you, Christy. But I’m so glad that this current storm was the impetus you needed to return.

        I love your idea for a guest book. So many people are feeling anxious and alone right now, I think the more opportunties people have to connect, the better.

        I’m glad it feels good for you to be back. I hope once this storm passes, as it surely will, your life becomes more serene. Thank you again for the gift of your words! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My hope is that each poem will be the one to save you… for the time being. It’s the only time we really have, isn’t it? This moment. This time being. And in this magic moment, I’m sending you love and peace and gratitude.
      Watch the Ross Gay spoken piece I shared today. It saved me…it may save you again too. ❤️


    1. It’s so sweet to see you Barb! As sweet as a bowl of cherries. 🙂 I saw that emailed me, you are an angel thank you! Had a few health scares and life events that kept me away, but I’m so glad to be back and to see you here. ❤️


    1. Hello dear dw! I’m thrilled to see you. You were sweet to check on me. Had a few health scares that kept me tied up but I’m so happy to be back and to see so many lovely familiar faces. Grace and peace to you as well…Christy

      Liked by 1 person

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