Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Welcome, Guest!

Signing on Site Meter's free tracking service has been one of the more rewarding decisions I've made. I see how many hits I get per day (today, it's been around 20), and I see the source of those hits. Often the referring URL, just as often, the search engine and the search terms that lead the visitor here.

Thanks to Site Meter, I learned that Matthias, a man whose writing I greatly admire, had recently added me to his blog-roll at Correction. Matthias is a seminarian "on the road" to becoming a Methodist pastor, and is definitely a kindred spirit. In an e-mail, Matthias has said he likes my "Ideé d’jour" and my Lectio Devina series. I hope those who visit from his site also find things to enjoy here.

My hit count spiked when Mike Snider high-lighted the fact that he was blog-rolling me at his Formal Blog and Sonnetarium. Unfortunately, the week he did that was when I was on one of my religious rants, so his readers may have been a might disappointed. Mike is a purist about structured verse, and we sometimes disagree, but I have respect for what he's doing. His sonnet-a-day discipline is as bold as, and more challenging than, my former poem-a-day discipline.

As an aside, here's a shock for you: I believe everyone who wants to write poetry should at least try to write structured verse. Obviously, I don't think something has to rhyme and be in iambic pentameter in order to be poetry. But I do believe the discipline of fitting a form will inevitably improve a writer's skills.

A number of European visitors (Sweden, The Netherlands, et al) have come by way of Dr. Omed's Nun of the Week sub-category. Hope those visitors weren't too disappointed when they didn't find any salacious images here.

The searches have been interesting, as well. Someone at the National Institute of Health (dot gov) stumbled in here searching on "freedom of speech during wartime". Someone in England searched on "love poetry" and "claddagh" and landed here. For this last, see Rosary Guitar.

The most frequent search term has involved people from around the world searching for images of a certain Canadian singer-songwriter, whom I have called "Saint". The sad thing is, the link Google provides goes to my most recent post, rather than the post in which I included that image. Sadder still, and shame on me, I "piggy-backed" someone else's server to post that image. I edited the image from the relevant post last week, and hope eventually Google will return to referencing the correct site.
Hope you're still with me. Ended up having to re-write this whole post because I hit the wrong button at the wrong time. AnyWHO, if you are still with me, you may be wondering what the dominant theme of this web-log is. Like any blogger, I focus on things that interest me. For whatever reason, three main areas interest me right now, and I cycle through them on an irregular basis: poetry, politics, and religion.

Some time back, I added the descriptor "Chevaux de Bataille" to the top of this page's design. It's a marvelous French phrase I picked up from Word-a-day; it roughly translates as "hobby horse". Which is to say, these three areas are my consistent hobby horse.

I am not the political scientist Brother Dave is. And, the more I look at the world's current political situation, the more depressed I get. As a person who experiences bouts of non-specific melancholia, I certainly don't need to focus on that for any period.

Elsie says I have the best Bible knowledge of any lay person she knows (she is a Methodist pastor). My religious studies have been primarily self-directed, with about two years of formal study. Paying attention in various Bible studies has paid off, as well. As my references to Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Zen, et al may indicate, I have not limited my studies to Judeo-Christianity. So, this may actually be the area where I have the best background.

As a theorist of poetic prosody, I am a bit behind the times (my study pretty much ends with the Black Mountain Poets (Wakowski, et al). In fact, I may be mis-remembering the name of that school. I am not as adept with current critical terms as Ron Silliman, whose writing I find especially impenetrable. Nor I am not able to parse a poem's meter with the felicity of Mike Snider; surprisingly, I don't seem to have the ear for it.

But there are those who have responded to my poetry, structured or not. If I have something to say about poetics, I seem to be saying it mostly by example.

I realize I might get more traffic if I chose only one of these three areas, and focused on it. I don't seem to be constitutionally capable of limiting myself in that way. My hope is, by shifting my focus as the spirit leads, the writing here will remain fresh enough to encourage people to return frequently.

An occasional comment to let me know how I'm doing is always appreciated. Don't just lurk behind those intriguing URLs I scan when I visit the reports on Site Meter.

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