What’s A Poem Worth?

Yesterday, someone said to me, why would people write a poems if they weren’t going to be paid for them?

That’s a gulch of perception I may never be able to cross. What is a poem worth, anyway?

This morning in Montpelier, I attended an art show, where my daughter had a painting entered. In the opening remarks by Tom Greene, president of Vermont College of Fine Arts, he said creating art widens our experience and makes us more humane. I’m not sure that sentiment would have imprinted on me as an adolescent, but as an adult, far down in the cavernously lonely well of writing a second novel, those words shone like a bright beacon far above, a place I know – a place I continue to heads towards through the arduous work of writing.

What’s art worth? A truer question, perhaps, would be: how unimaginable our world would be without art.

"This is Just to Say"

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

– William Carlos Williams

artwork by Molly S.


By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


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