Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Range of a Poet's Focus

Some poets' eyes are trained on their community, city, state, on their life experiences on a farm, in the northwoods or their respective family experiences, and, as such, those poets are often tagged as a poet of their city, state or region. While I probably secretly wish that I could hang a hook on one of the above, it appears that I simply cannot do so.

As I noted in the preface to my book, The Silent Tango of Dreams, a realization that I have developed over the course of my adult life is that there is no geographic place that I can boast of as my home. Rather, I have come to realize, much like the peripatetic writer, Pico Ayer, that I am really a person of the world, not of any one town, village, city or nation. I have learned that my home is in my heart where my love and the love of others toward me resides, and that, on the scale of things, is what is really important and dear to me. Given my what might be termed my nomadic existence as a child living in different parts of the United States, my subsequent foreign language studies, Peace Corps experiences in Chile, marriage to a woman from the Caribbean, and my numerous travels and stints living abroad, I cannot help but to have an international perspective and respect for other cultures.

I believe that my poems collectively represent, to a large extent, this condition of mine, one that I proudly embrace like a global nationhood in this often confusing though fascinating world of ours. The world has offered me what I regard as an international citizenship, one that my poems fondly embrace.

—Stephen Anderson

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