The footprints we leave in the sands of time are the memories held by those whose lives intersected in some way with ours. The emotional impact of each encounter can range across the entire gamut---love, joy, humor, grief, heartbreak. Each of these in this collection is inspired in some way with my own journey through life. So many who impacted my life are gone now, yet they left "footprints" which have now found their way into verse, and in that sense, they live on.
From an article in the Atlantic, "American poetry now belongs to a subculture. No longer part of the mainstream of artistic and intellectual life, it has become the specialized occupation of a relatively small and isolated group. As a class poets are not without cultural status. Like priests in a town of agnostics, they still command a certain residual prestige. But, as individual artists they are almost invisible."
In spite of the ambitious mission, I mentioned, in the introduction, of helping to move poetry back into the mainstream of the arts community, I harbor no illusions of becoming a famous poet or one known widely enough known to truly launch such a movement. Nevertheless, I hope that others who follow will pick up the mantle. My prayer is that the value of the poetic verse will once again be seen, understood, and valued by the broader public, all with life challenges and the need for an emotional outlet.
Poetry among the arts, is long overdue for a resurrection. To reclaim a place of prominence, those of us who craft the verses, with the purpose of giving voice to the feelings and emotions of the heart and soul must do so in language and phrase that is easily understood by the average reader. There are far too many other distractions and options available in this age of mass media. Paradoxically, as the number of poets, poetry journals, and academic programs have increased over the past half-century, the general readership has declined. It has been said that a "famous" poet now means someone famous only to other poets.
"Poetry has vanished as a cultural force in America. If poets venture outside their confined world, they can work to make it essential once more…..the history of art tells the same story over and over. As art forms develop, they establish conventions that guide creation, performance, instruction, even analysis. Eventually these conventions grow stale. They begin to stand between the art and its audience. Much wonderful poetry is being written, the American poetry establishment is locked into a series of exhausted conventions---outmoded ways of presenting, discussing, editing and teaching poetry." (The Atlantic, Can Poetry Matter?).
This language of the heart and soul, once given voice, provides us all a deeper understanding of life. It is voice that transcends racial and national boundaries. Oh, for the golden age once again! William Wordsworth, the English Romantic poet; Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland; Robert Frost, American and recipient of four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry; Maya Angelou, American poet, memoirist, and civil-rights activist; and James Baldwin, American novelist, essayist and poet. These giants, all prime examples of how this ancient art can have a lasting impact and inspire. Their lives and verse have touched the lives of others around the world.