A poem comes to my inbox or my podcast feed. Its images give me access to an unfamiliar experience. Its rhythm grips me. Words are the instruments that give sound to its message. The poet has a lesson to teach me, and a lesson isn’t often learned on the first try. I need to read more, so I type the poet’s name into a search bar and discover she’s published a collection. I go to Amazon to download a sample of its contents. There I find a metaphorically locked door. I knock, but the poet doesn’t answer. Chances are, she will never answer — because the collection isn’t available as an e-book, and I read only e-books and online material.
As I’ve written before in essays for The Mighty, I haven’t shunned the traditionally printed word out of mere inconvenience, though I don’t hold it against those