Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tradition as Lens: Blast Furnace Volume 2, Issue 2

A warm welcome from Blast Furnace.

For Volume 2, Issue 2, we received many poems from voices speaking through the lens of tradition: Mothers preparing food. Religious ceremony. Gardening and household chores. Vacations and sailing. Even burying the dead…Rituals handed down from generation to generation on native and foreign soil (as we continue to be the recipient of many, many fine submissions from writers outside of the United States, too)…

…and, baseball. It seems appropriate—posting a triple play of verse about the sport near the end of the major league season and the close of another summer, when everything still remains verdant. Appropriate, during the week of September 11, to read about how tradition brings people together in this little nook of the cyber world that the internet has carved out for us.

On a personal note, and perhaps breaking an editorial rule in so doing, it reminds me of an oldest nephew, who happens to be a former Southpaw for the Indiana University (IU) Hoosiers in Bloomington. He played his undergraduate college years of Division I baseball as a relief pitcher, with his senior year—in which college-level players are often scouted for the majors—being one of discouragement, as he’d suffered an injury to his arm that kept him off the field for most of the season. My family’s connection with baseball and sports reaches back to at least the time of my grandparents’ childhood. It extends through to present day, as my youngest nephew takes to the field in Fall Ball at his high school.

It's a simple definition, but an accurate one: a poem says the thing for which we cannot always find the words ourselves in a new way that often makes something truer. We locate our very core in the gifted words of poets. Like saying exactly how deep, wide, and complex the love for a brother, a father, a son, a partner, a sister, a mother, a daughter, a friend, is. Or an oldest nephew, who will leave in just a few days for a new professional venture in the core of the Big Apple—Times Square—next week.

Blast Furnace continues to be tremendously blessed, moved, rightfully blown away by the generosity and fierce vulnerability of our contributing writers, who take the opportunity to send their art to us at each call for submissions.

May meditating on the poets’ words in Volume 2, Issue 2, be gratifying to you.
- R. Clever, Editor/Publisher