I have been mulling over what to post here on Harriet, and when. I wanted to mention the passing of PK Page, for one, but she deserves a more well-thought out post than I could do in an hour or two. Then this morning I realized that part of what is making me reluctant to post is not the posts themselves, but the question of how much time I can give to the ensuing discussion. There are several posts in draft, but when I think of posting them, I know that in a way, the post is only the beginning.
When the idea of blogging for Harriet was suggested, this aspect gave me pause. The discussions generated from posts are often very informing, and I want to foster them. The biggest draw of Harriet is the possibility of new readers: how often does one get such opportunities? So ideally, one wants responses. And lots of them. But what kind of response?
I assume that is the mark of a successful post--it generates responses. And those responses, as we see here, can require more thought than the original post. But I am not sure that is an accurate mark of a successful post. I assume responses are in the air, and find their ways into lines of poems, and other posts, turning up, like volunteers in the compost bin, to produce something new.
That seems right. To be honest I have no idea where poets find time to craft the long responses we find in comment's threads. And so quickly. It becomes a matter of the quick-to-formulate generally directing the conversation. That's fine too, and some people have a great range of references which makes for illuminating discussions, but I sense some voices peter out simply because they can't keep up with the pace, not necessarily with the contents of the conversation. I know I do.
All of this makes me yearn for a slow blog, a slower return. And for someone as addicted to ever faster-paced multi-tasking as I am this yearning says something. Perhaps the various methods of instant communication are wearing. Or perhaps I simply want a little more contemplation. All I know is I have been daydreaming of paddling in and around the Gulf Islands, solo, with not a word in the air, and of composing wee messages with squid ink on paper made of potato and letting them drift like silt behind me on the waves.
Sina Queyras grew up on the road in western Canada and she has since lived in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, and Calgary where she was Markin Flanagan Writer in Residence. She is the author most recently of the poetry collection MxT (2014) and Unleashed (2010), a selection of posts from...