Thursday, January 03, 2008

Entry #100

This is my 100th entry in this experiment in blogging which I began 14 months ago with the intention of focusing loosely on my reading, writing, and teaching and how those three endeavors interact. As the presidential election year of 2008 starts up, I'm thinking about how this process of intermittent online journaling is going, what I've learned, and how I might want to proceed differently in the future. First, although the site meter tells me that I get occasional hits from around the country and the globe, most of those visitors linger only a few minutes at most and are directed to my blog through a search for some topic I've addressed. I have no regular readers as far as I can tell, and I get only occasional online comments--so far all of these from friends who know I'm blogging. So, this project only makes sense if it serves a good purpose for me. Certainly it has helped me keep track of online items that interest me and that I may want to return to.

Also, my work has prompted me to pay more attention to what other bloggers, especially those interested in poetry, are doing. Some, such as Bill Knott, use their sites as (among other functions) a way of making their work available online. Others, such as my former colleague Matt Schmeer in "The Great American Pinup" use the blog primarily to write about contemporary poetry. The most comprehensive blog I'm aware of is maintained by the incredible Ron Silliman; little wonder that he gets a half million or so hits per year. I've come to rely on Silliman's insights and his compendium of web links about writing and film. I'm responsible for a good number of those half million hits. I like being able to maintain an online list of blogs and web sites that I want to regularly check out.

I continue to grapple with how tightly thematic I want my blog to be. Although I generally focus on my professional concern with writing and reading, sometimes family observations and photos intervene, and I'm sure that will continue. Occasionally I like to write about film, visual arts, and other fields indirectly allied to my teaching, research, and writing interests. The blog does require time, which I could spend writing poetry, planning lessons, working on an article. But this regular commitment (an average of a couple entries per week) doesn't seem too onerous, and it is consistent with my longstanding interest in diaries, journals, daybooks, notebooks, sketchbooks--all of these forms of exploratory personal record-keeping and idea-gathering. In addition to this blog, I keep a more personal journal, as well as a sketchbook. When I'm traveling the journal and sketchbook run together, a single book serving dual purposes.

~~~

Poets face the necessity "of reinventing a voice, the possibility of a voice, beginning with one's own solitude, one's own isolation, one's own difficulty. And with marginality, too: one's own and that of peotry and poetic language."
--Fabio Pusterla, translated by Geoffry Brock in Poetry (12/07) special section on contemporary Italian poetry

~~~

The Turning

To the drumbeat of dropping leaves,
I stash my savings
in the bank of December.

What difference does water make
when the trees have shed
their best hues in darkness?

Under turbulent fish
I swim the techtonic gale
breathing in winter rhythms..

The orchestra’s coral rhapsody
hastens my oak desire,
spins the world into hope.

--K.A.


1 comment:

Anne said...

You've kept your blog authentic. I think that's worth the effort, and it's certainly worth the read.

I've found that friends read my blog for whatever reason (often to check on the health of my parents) and so I don't get e-mails from them like before, which makes our communications one-way. I want to know what they're up to. All our friends should have blogs, right?

The other thing is that I've made friends with people around the world through my blogs and that's been fun. But it all takes time.

What doesn't?

Keep blogging Ken. Otherwise I'd never hear from you!