Perhaps this should be labeled "Part One of Many" since I will probably contradict myself at other times as well. Contradicting that I must say that I don't think what I'm about to write really contradicts anything. At any rate, monthly on the second Saturday of the months from September through June I conduct meetings of the Manchester Chapter of the Connecticut Poetry Society.. These are somewhat like workshops but without those workshop attributes I find loathsome. These are times when I try to give everyone in the room (6-15 attendees monthly) whatever I can to help them write and understand poetry better. I get high on these efforts. I have stressed earlier the value of camaraderie among writers and that is the biggest payoff of these meetings. The level of talent ranges from zilch to accomplished and the ages are from late twenties to late eighties. It's a sparkling group of people from carpenters to teachers to attorneys and accountants and includes the retired, the working, the unemployed and the disabled.
I'm not sure why I'm telling you about this group other than to emphasize that we need each other. Poetry is a solitary pursuit but does not exist at its best in a vacuum. As Donald Sheehan, Director Emeritus of The Frost Place, says, when our intelligence goes into our hearts the result is a higher intelligence. There is something about these meetings that achieves this and rail though I might about the crappy poetry I find so common, it's not all about intelligence.