Friday, August 1, 2008
For his 60th birthday, my friend Stan compiled all of his favorite poems that he has written since he was a young man, made copies (about 100 pages) and gave the “sheaf” to all his favorite friends and family (some 40 people). Today he gave me my copy. Stan has a rather interesting biography. Ordained as a Catholic priest, he left the priesthood to marry the love of his life and have a family. He and his wife have two grown sons. He works in public health. His rollicking sense of humor always makes me laugh and he is someone I like to look at the stars with while pondering spiritual matters. After Stan left my house today, I weighed that sheaf of poems in my hands. Stan has never published his poems so I am grateful to be one of those select 40 who will have the opportunity to read them. And I am also once again saddened at the way of the publishing industry, which makes it near impossible for other poetry lovers to have access to Stan’s work. The energy it would take for him to get the attention of an agent or publisher is not worth expending. His energy is better used writing his poetry. That’s what he loves. Well, he also loves having others read it. So his birthday present to himself is to be read. I regret that I will miss all the words of the other Stans out there whom I will never read. Too many poems, too little time.