21 POEMS FOR THE 21st CENTURY. Volume 4

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From the Author
It has been the case since I started this poetic merry-go-round three years ago, that I published the book the third week in December and then began immediately to write poems for the next volume. 2001 was no exception to this rule. No sooner had Vol. III hit the newsstands, poems for Vol. IV were already being conceived. I wrote at a pace of about one or two poems a week, with small lulls in the action occurring at Easter and during my traditional summer Castle Tour. I did a poetry check sometime in August looking for those half-dozen gems which would be the trademark for my next publication. At the time, I didn’t think they existed. In fact I felt that I had written nothing exceptional to compare with DEATH, THERE`S MORE TO A WOMAN, NIGHTMARES, WAR IN THE CITY, THE WEDDING, It’s JUST NOT THE SAME etc., in my opinion the banner carriers of Vols I, II, III.

Was I loosing it? Had my life become so smooth, so lacking of conflict, so boring that I was loosing the power to think and create? I turned to look for scapegoats-my sort of girlfriend, the negative results of the success of my theatre group etc. Or was I simply loosing the desire to create and impress? Was the struggle to write simply becoming too difficult for me? As usual, I had no answers to any of these questions and so continued to write-perhaps for no other reason than the fear associated with stopping.

But my self-criticism had made me a marked man. I was haunted by a feeling I couldn’t repress. That no matter how hard I tried and how many poems I would write, I would still at the end of the year not have enough quality to go to print. I tried to buoy up my shattered ego by telling myself-poets and authors for that matter, often hold conversations in front of mirrors-that if I didn’t have sufficient material by the year’s end, I could always delay publication until more flowers grew. I was unable to console myself at all.

By the December 15, 2002 cut off date, I had written about 40 poems, including three in German. The numbers were there, but could I really do another volume justice? With resolute trepidation, I reread everything I had written in 2002. I hit myself across the head a couple of times, then read again. The German poems were solid, perhaps even better than the English ones. But the English ones certainly would not tarnish my reputation. In fact they might even continue, if not enhance it. You, dear reader, must make the choice for yourself.

21 POEMS FOR THE 21st CENTURY VOL. IV follows the same pattern of the previous volumes. There is a prologue, an epilogue and three poems in German. One or two of the poems underlines my attempt to lash out at the world in a political sense, adding a new dimension to this volume. It embraces the usual poetic themes of love, conquest, youth, age and idealism. As usual, because of my inability to count, there might be more than 21 poems, giving you the chance to skip over the occasional lack-luster creation, and me the chance to copy write everything I have written in 2002.

Grantly Marshall Munich, December 16, 2002