Walter Donway just sent the following announcement, which explains the significance of his essay as well as anything I might hope to write:
My brief essay “The Struggle for Poetry’s Soul” just went up on the popular Atlasphere web site. In the essay, I try to suggest why it is important to restore the traditional craft and enduring values of poetry, being lost today in the blizzard of “free verse,” deliberate difficulty, and rejection of popular values such as rhyme and storytelling in so much of contemporary poetry.
With whatever talent I may have, I am trying to explore the diversity, power, and beauty of the traditional discipline and forms of poetry in Touched By Its Rays.
As I suggest in my initial poem in that book, “A Prelude,” perhaps some young person of real talent, and with a whole life ahead of him or her, will read my poems and envision what a great poet might accomplish in days ahead. That is one meaning of Touched By Its Rays.
Of course, a great many contemporary poets, and nearly all critics and teachers of poetry, would be deeply offended by my remarks.