Poetry is a mystery; not in the sense of the whodunit kind of mystery, but in the aesthetical and/or more precisely, sacramental kind of mystery.
We think that the impulse to create art, including poetry, comes from the need to make concrete the emotional and abstract experiences of our lives. We do that in order to hold on to them, examine them, and celebrate them. But with that impulse comes the need to keep doing, and with every effort, to do it better, more clearly and more movingly. The desire to make the concrete object, in this case the poem, closer and closer to the experience – the truth of it – seems insatiable.
Most of the process is seen as a fundamentally private affair – the poet isolated at his or her desk, working far away from the distracting and distracted crowd. Like Wisconsin’s own Lorine Niedecker, in her case, surrounded by the silent waters of spring, condensing her words into bits of diamond verbal clarities.
But, there is another way to clarity that is more communal. Such creativity evolves sharing the works of the self with like works that emerge from members of a group of more or less kindred souls – a group of poets, willing to hear and consider the work and wisdom of each other.
There are a number of such fine groups in Door County; the pioneer gathering calls itself “The Wallace Group.” It is our pleasure to draw this group to our readers’ attentions. Here follows a brief introduction to group by one of the founders, Barbara Larsen, whose commitment to the form and process of making poetry lights the way for all Door County poets.
– H. C. Timm