This new issue of Narrative marks our first publication of poetry, and with the encouragement of novelist David Guterson, whose three poems here are also his first published poems, we’ve decided to offer poetry as a regular feature in the magazine. This summer we’ll open the door to poetry submissions, and future issues will include poetry as well as articles and essays by and about poets.
One of our favorite poets, Donald Hall, in a short essay distinguishing poetry from prose, concluded:
All of us can ask directions or remark that it looks like snow. When we wish to embody in language a complex of feelings or sensations or ideas, we fall into inarticulateness; attempting to speak, in the heat of love or argument, we say nothing or we say what we do not intend. Poets encounter inarticulateness as much as anybody, or maybe more: They are aware of the word’s inadequacy because they spend their lives struggling to say the unsayable. From time to time, in decades of devotion to their art, poets succeed in defeating the enemies of ignorance, deceit, and ugliness. The poets we honor most are those who—by studious imagination, by continuous connection to the sensuous body, and by spirit steeped in the practice and learning of language—publish in their work the unsayable said.