E d i t o r 's N o t e
Reader beware! You are about to enter Firestone Feinberg's Soapbox Territory. Leave now -- or forfeit your right to mumble about me behind my back. Should you choose to stay, however, and then mumble regardless of my warning, be a little kind. After all, I can't help myself: I'm both a father and a teacher.
Most persons who visit the pages of online literary journals are writers. Writers who want to know if their poetry fits a particular venue. Writers who are deciding whether or not to submit their work to that venue. Yes, some innocent poetry-lovers do come to sites like Verse-Virtual just for the pleasure of reading -- but they are in the minority.
How do I know these things?
One way is via the statistics provided by Google Analytics. To be sure, the single most-visited page at V-V is the HOME page -- which stands to reason. The second most-visited page is the SUBMIT page. Which doesn't stand to reason unless most visitors are writers.
Thus, with apologies to any unfortunate poetry-readers who might be here at this very moment, I write to writers. Writers whose poems appear here and writers who are scouting out the place.
Verse-Virtual, of whom you are the largest representative part, is not mine alone to build -- but yours too. We are a community. Sure, it's easy for me to talk. In my role as editor I get to know you all. I get to read your incredible poetry. I even get to welcome many of you back here. (Already, in my short tenure, I have learned a great lesson: that I accept the poets as much as the poems.) But what can you do to help?
You probably will be moved when you read some of the poems here. If so, you might write to the authors of those poems just to tell them that. Certainly the meaning of poetry transcends its physical presence in a book or on a webpage. At its most dynamic, it affects someone or something. It effects change. For the better, we hope. Should we not tell poets when they have changed us? Or are they to be left to wonder if anyone even read their poetry? If we don't read and respond to others' writing, how can we expect them -- or total strangers -- to read and respond to ours?
That said, let me inform any unsuspecting victims who have indeed come here for pleasure, not lecture, that I will, I promise, include you in my next editor's note. In the meantime please do mumble behind my back and, of course, any poison-pen emails you send this way will be acknowledged as fully warranted and most appropriately placed.