[easy-media med=”8232″]Dear Readers,
The function of poetry has always been twofold: connection and estrangement. We not only look to poetry to place ourselves within the world, but to enter new worlds. The magic is in the extraordinary transformation that happens when we reach out into these new situations, new places, new points of view—we again become connected, this time to something or someone we never could have imagined on our own.
I’m incredibly proud of the collected points of view this issue of Mason’s Road has pulled together. As you delve into the nine poems we selected, you’ll be able to look through the eyes of a child growing up during Vietnam. Of a man whose eyes gaze forward into the future, but who also can’t let go of the past. Of a witness of a terrible, deadly car crash. Of a young Native American boy watching history being made. Of a couple’s grief in losing their child. Of a South Korean woman reaching out to befriend a foreigner. Of a tourist in Germany, of the stars, even of a particularly lonely Mermaid. The pieces vary greatly in form and content, but have one, beautiful thing in common: not only do they show you a new point of view, but they cause you to go beyond sympathy and empathize with it. Through these poems you become a child, a grief-stricken almost-parent, a mermaid. These writers have provided want we most want in poetry—they make us feel.
As theater critic Brooks Atkinson once said, “The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.” So enjoy this issue of Mason’s Road, readers. By Atkinson’s definition, it’s the farthest from fatal possible. It will bring you into a whole host of new life.