Editor's Note

C.E. Chaffin

Welcome to Melic XXV, for which Sharon Kourous and I went through some 1000 poems, agreeing on five in a separate blind evaluation.  Each of us then persuaded the other to include one more while I chose two for light verse. 

In Melic XXIV I put out a call for "Power Lyrics".  It seems few write them anymore, at least to the satisfaction of Sharon and myself.  Then we're literary dinosaurs I suppose.  We don't even accept prose-poems.  How retro can you be?

The poetry in this issue reflects the editor-in-chief's preferences, no apologies, in whose view poetry, like all culture, is going downhill-- until its distinction from prose will no longer matter.  Although I admire the cutting edge of our last two issues (kudos to Jim Zola and Walter Bargen and Jiri Cech), I have always conceived of Melic's ultimate mission as holding up the highest standards of the past to encourage today's writers toward an excellence to outlast this age.  I don't mean to decry experimentation, I just think most of it is only of passing note.

Here's a brief list of power lyrics from the past I encourage readers to re-read:

Blake's "Auguries of Innocence" and "London"

Wordsworth's "Lucy" poems.

Yeats's "Leda and the Swan" and "The Circus Animal's Desertion"

Donne's "The Baite"

Frost's "To Earthward" and "The Sound of Trees"

Larkin's "Arundel Tomb "

Roethke's "Open House" and "Papa's Waltz"

Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

And of course, Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

These titles, off the top of my head, should point the reader in the direction we sought for Melic  XXV. Perhaps our standards are too high?

Sharon also penned an essay about the value of poetry and her experience in teaching it, a nice companion piece to my "Power Lyrics" essay.

I'm also happy to announce that Jeffrey Bahr has volunteered to edit Melic XXVI, due out April 1, 2005.  Submissions are always open but close one month before the projected publication date for that issue only.

(I always give guest editors carte blanche.)

Thanks to the authors, Sharon Kourous, Jim Zola (and his elegant web design), and of course, Val Cihylik, our stalwart Fiction Editor.

And thanks to all of you who stop by to browse what is a compact issue perfect for the busy holidays.

If you'd like to support Melic, it is almost entirely funded by our poetry tutorial, which I continue to teach with pleasure.  Of course you can always send a donation as well.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

C. E. Chaffin