Although poets like me aspire to publish book-length collections, most people prefer poetry in smaller doses. No wonder, since the meaning distilled within any good poem is highly concentrated. Even those who profess not to like it at all are occasionally moved by a line they hear spoken or lyrics to a song. (Yes, lyrics count.) That’s why I’ve come to embrace the notion of stealth poetry. It comes in guises like this:
the poem on a pocket-size postcard, bookmark or plain copy paper passed hand to hand
the poem embedded in an email message to a friend
the poem on a handcrafted broadsheet suitable for framing
the poem slipped into a professional journal or general interest magazine by an astute editor
Of course not every poem will resonate. Think of poetry like music. We all have our favorite artists, genres, labels—but there’s something for everyone, isn’t there? I like to remember my friend and colleague Doris who once told me bluntly, “I don’t like poetry—but I like your poems.” Every poet deserves at least one fan like Doris and every Doris deserves to encounter a memorable poem at least once or twice in her life.