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On ceasing to blog: Do not go gentle

Do Not Go Gentle into That Internet FogRageRage Against the Dying of the Blog

Laptops_caillebotte
The poetry foundation announced on Monday that it was reconfiguring its social-media engagement, scaling back its blog in favor of Twitter and Facebook. It will turn its blog, Harriet, into a an intermittent, multimedia, poetry-focused online venue, with no comments -- in other words, not quite a blog anymore.

Well, I liked Harriet, and I thought she was a keeper, maybe more of a keeper than the addictive but easy-to-tire-of Twitter and more of a keeper than the privacy-averse, social-network-du-jour Facebook. As a plea not just to the Poetry Foundation but also to any bloggers whose energy flags, and with a big and apologetic nod to Dylan Thomas, we present "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Internet Fog."

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Internet Fog
by Dylan Thomas
remixed by Carolyn Kellogg

Do not go gentle into that internet fog,
Writing should burn and rage complete
Rage, rage against the dying of the blog.

Unwise men think sentences do bog,
But what can be said in just a Tweet?
Do not go gentle into that internet fog.

Good men at laptops watch agog,
Their words sucked into a Facebook data sheet
Rage, rage against the dying of the blog.

A wild man who drinks the German grog
Leaves updates, a 4G phone -- he's indiscreet!
Do not go gentle into that internet fog.

Grave men crave followers and flog
And flog for more with desperate heat
Rage, rage against the dying of blog.

And you, dear poets, know writing is no slog
The ebb and flow of words is sweet
Do not go gentle into that internet fog,
Rage, rage against the dying of the blog.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Image: "Women of Wifi, After Caillebotte," by Mike Licht of NotionsCapital.com via Flickr.

 
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Dylan Thomas is climbing out of his grave, and he wants to have a drink with Carolyn Kellogg.

I concur! Harriet is a great blog. And the blog as a medium has great potential, so long as savvy writers stick with it.

From a Facebook-averse, Twitter-neutral, energy-flagging blogger, thanks! I needed that.

All bloggers begin with great zeal, of course. But like the new company newsletter, the promise of weekly phone calls home, and repentant intentions to be a regular at Sunday services, the beginning blogger’s zeal often gives way to less frequent posts, soon followed by a deep desire to find a graceful way out of the grind. Perhaps what is really occurring is the embarrassing realization that the blogger really didn’t have all that much to say to begin with, and as your wonderfully quoted Welch poet once said upon abruptly ending a lengthy conversation, 'Somebody's boring me…I think it's me.'

Nicely said. Thanks for taking the time to write this.


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