A recent post on Rachel Fox's blog, More about the Song (see my bloglist) got me thinking. She was talking about the early days of her blog, and “the strange virtual meetings, the finding people you might even like in real life”. About ten years ago I joined a poetry-writing mailing list. It worked very well for a couple of years, as I remember. The internet still felt quite new. We'd just bought our first PC (second hand, from a friend) and it was quite a novelty to be regularly contacting like-minded people around the world.
I spent a few minutes yesterday searching the net to see if any of my fellow participants' poetry was still around. I quickly found Molly Walker. I wondered at first if it was the same Molly Walker until, that is, I read this poem. I knew it from the mailing list and I'd forgotten how funny it was. Some of Michael Bedward's thoughtful poems are still out there too.
Strange virtual meetings: people who in their invisible, virtual way were really quite important to me. The feeling was possibly mutual, although I have no reason to believe we knew -and know- anything about each other apart from the poetry we put out for each other to read and comment on. We can't even be sure we know each other's real names.
The only participant who I do know anything about, sadly, died. Cait Collins' poems are still out there to be read. This is one I didn't know until I found it today, and when I found it, and the photograph that goes with it, I realised I had no idea what she looked like, when she was alive: a strange virtual meeting indeed.
5 years ago