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Original 1998 Introduction

     "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits and nesecary to sustain life, but poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."

Dead Poets Society

The Poet My love of poetry began in my early teens. I had a crush on this girl I knew back then and forever sought new and more artful ways of expressing it. I found an old anthology of poems in my cousin's basement one night and began reading through it. There was a lot of fancy and archaic wording that I didn't understand but a few poems caught my attention. A few of the sonnets by Shakespeare I found seemed to put into words exactly how I was feeling about the object of my affections. (See "Farewell!" for example)

There's something about having your most inexpressible feelings put so perfectly into words that swells your spirit beyond your being and causes goosebumps to tingle all over your body. Naturally I wrote those words out and gave them to her in a letter the next day, along with a bit of my own writing, inspired by the poetry I'd read the prior evening. She smiled and told me I was sweet, but the beautiful words seemed to have no effect on her. Her feelings for me were neutral at best.

Perhaps she didn't understand what they were saying, perhaps she did but didn't care. Either way nothing ever arose between me and her and I walked away with only a newly developed passion for poetic expression. It seemed small at the time but I've polished it like a jewel over the years.

Later, in high school, I had a teacher named Brian McKinnon. He seemed to be obsessed with poems. He had the whole class reading and writing poetry day in and day out. He was the closest thing to the character "John Keating" from "Dead Poets Society" as I'd ever met and even though we all thought he was "a few lines short of a stanza", I was drawn to his passion and energy like a moth to a light. He really did want us to learn, to understand, and to love poetry the way it ought to be loved, as beautiful words. He is the inspiration for this page and I dedicate it to him with much thanks.

I really do want you, dear visitor, to learn, to understand and love these poems as I do, and to milk from them their eternal essence of inspiration, enlightenment and empathy. They're not always happy, they're not always sad, but neither is life, and that's the beauty of it. Being human has not changed much in the past 500 years. We still experience similar thoughts, emotions, desire and dread, and we read these poems from so long ago as though they might have been written yesterday.

So here is my web site, such as it is. On the left is a menu of poem titles listed in no particular order. Click on each one to read them, cut and paste or print them, treasure them. To the right is the media panel with a selection of music I consider among my favorites. The song will change each week as I type out and add more poems to the menus. Clicking on the link beneath the menus will bring up a list of my own poetry, humble as it is, I felt unworthy to include it with the classics. I hope you enjoy this site. Tell your friends about it and come back regularly.

Kevin Ranville