This post is by Luann Udell, regular contributing author for FineArtViews. She's blogged since 2002 about the business side--and the spiritual inside--of art. She says, "I share my experiences so you won't have to make ALL the same mistakes I did...." For ten years, Luann also wrote a column ("Craft Matters") for The Crafts Report magazine (a monthly business resource for the crafts professional) where she explored the funnier side of her life in craft. She's a double-juried member of the prestigious League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (fiber & art jewelry). Her work has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers across the country and she is a published writer.
It’s easier than ever to get our work, our spirit, our ethos, the things that matter to us, out into the world. And sharing on social media is the best way to do it.
(4 minute read)
Schedules change, deadlines move forward and back, and here I am writing today’s column before I even had a topic in mind.
But what a gift this last-minute situation has given me today!
Because I found out that a classic poem, one of my favorites since I memorized it for a high school drama class, has almost disappeared from the internet.
It was written in 1931 by Conrad Aiken, it has always resonated with me, and now it’s hard to find, except in other blogs.
It’s still in poetry books, of course. So it’s not gone gone. But for some reason, it seems to have fallen below the fold for most poetry websites.
And having something become invisible on the internet is a good lesson for me, today. And maybe for you.
I don’t have the skills to unwrap Aiken’s purpose with these words. I only know they have always rocked my soul when I read it, especially aloud. That is the power of poetry. Maybe it popped up in my head today because of Amanda Gorman's deeply moving poem, "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration ceremony on January 20. What I do know is this: If I hadn’t found links to personal websites republishing this poem, I may not have been able to easily share it with you today.
Which is why social media is so vital today. Why using social media to market our work is more important than ever. Why doing our best to share our own work, our art, no matter what form it takes, is so important right now.
If the only way I could share my work was in books, newspapers, and magazines it’s been published in, it would be harder for potential collectors to find it. A lot harder.
Social media isn’t the only way to find stuff (poems, people, art), of course. I could go through my collection of poetry books to find that poem. I could search through our library’s poetry collection, although that is harder now, too. The poem is certainly out there somewhere.
But it sure wasn’t easy to find it quickly, today, now, when I needed it.
So for today, here is that poem. And thank you to all the individuals and organizations (a church, a grief counseling website, blogs, etc.) who love this poem as much as I do, who decided to share it with others on social media today.
(Coincidentally, my very first stitched fiber wall hanging was inspired by the comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s appropriate and beautiful “When Halley Came to Jackson” which we played in the car as we drove our two young children out into the country to see it. Yeah, it still makes me cry.)
As always, and speaking of sharing (hint, hint) if you found this article helpful, share it!
Link back to it here on Fine Art Views, or my blog at luannudell.wordpress.com.
If someone shared this article with you, and you’d like to read more in this series, here are all my articles at FineArtViews.com.
One Star Fell and Another by Conrad Aiken
One star fell and another as we walked.
Lifting his hand towards the west, he said
”How prodigal that sky is of its stars!
They fall and fall, and still the sky is sky.
Two more have gone, but heaven is heaven still.
Then let us not be precious of our thought,
Nor of our words, nor hoard them up as though
We thought our minds a heaven which might change
And lose its virtue, when the word had fallen.
Let us be prodigal, as heaven is:
Lose what we lose, and give what we may give,
Ourselves are still the same. Lost you a planet?
Is Saturn gone? Then let him take his rings
Into the Limbo of forgotten things.
O little foplings of the pride of mind,
Who wrap the phrase in lavender, and keep it
In order to display it: and you, who save our loves
As if we had not worlds of love enough!
Let us be reckless of our words and worlds,
And spend them freely as the tree his leaves;
And give them where the giving is most blest.
What should we save them for, a night of frost? ...
All lost for nothing, and ourselves a ghost.”
(Conrad Aiken, 1931)
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