“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