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WELCOME TO MELIC IX, the second in the new millennial triumvirate of Faith, Hope, and Love. As a centerpiece we feature that great saga of hope in a new translation, excerpts from Dante's Divine Comedy.

I would like to thank our guest editor, Kathleen Burk Henderson, a classics scholar herself, for her distinctive imprint on this edition. Melic invites guest editors to insure a balanced selection of poetry. In this regard I think Dr. Henderson has succeeded admirably.

It is my pleasure to welcome a new staff member to Melic, Maurice Ferguson, Tuesday's poetry board monitor. His bio link appears on the Staff page.

As to this issue's theme, I'd like to quote Eliot:

"Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice."
         — Ash Wednesday

I think it important to recognize that hope can be much more than an optimistic feeling, even a spiritual discipline as Dante teaches.

Our theme for the next Melic is "Love," for which submissions open June 10 and close August 10.

The next Melic Basic Poetry Course starts July 1 (or when ten students have signed up).

I think I speak for all of us when I say we do this not for profit nor prestige but for the love of poetry. May this issue reflect that motive.

[Note from the webmaster: unexpected family considerations require me to move on. Anyone wishing to take the helm for a time (perhaps your portfolio has room for a site topping 100,000 hits per month) should simply contact the Editor.]

Thine in Truth and Art,
C.E. Chaffin for Melic