Author Archives: ericwilliammattingly

In Our Beginning we Find Our Beginning

As a first post, let me explain what I want to accomplish with Ismarian Wine. For about a year I have toyed with the idea of building a platform with which to talk about poetry.  Naturally, there are thousands of blogs dedicated to this great subject, but in my experience they for the most part concentrate on exhibiting the author’s own poems, which is fine so long as nobody is forced to read them, but which leaves an unfilled need (at least for myself).  Here we shall encounter poems and approach them together like wild bears.  I’ll try and offer coherent observations, and someday a reader or two will puncture any such pretension of mine.  While safe, we shall edge ever more closely up to the poem, taking whatever liberties we can get away with.  And when we go too far, when the grizzly turns on us and charges, then without dignity we can all of us flee and talk later, in tranquility, about the lovely thing that befell us.  For what is reading a poem but putting your life in danger?

I plan to concentrate on the work of contemporary poets.  That is, poets still living and publishing books.  Two reasons for this: first, the poems of our own moment are the most difficult to understand since we can only rely on ourselves to read them.  The critic of the contemporary must fight to clarify before he obfuscates.  I find this kind of work fascinating, and so I plan to do it.  Secondly, I am drawn to the idea of uncovering the aesthetic obsessions of our time.  Writers working today create at the behest of vast, unspoken daemons psychological, metaphysical, and spiritual.  We shall certainly not possess the full shape of those forces in our lifetimes, but at least we can start.  I believe that, for better or worse, poetry is the best place to discover those shaping gods and so it is to poetry that we must look if we wish to name them (and overthrew them if need be).

Finally, just because I plan to focus on contemporary writers, doesn’t mean that I will never talk about a poet who has previously died.  At times I shall digress, whether by necessity or whim, nor shall I feel guilty when it happens.

Right now I compose for the void, but with luck and persistence it might begin to fill somewhat.  Thanks for reading, void, and please come again.