August 9, 2000: Surprisingly, there’s not a lot to say about this update. For the first time in a long time there are no "new" features, per se, to discuss, just an extension of what has been here for some time. There’s lots of new poetry, of course. And while it may not be our largest-ever update, I think in many ways it might be our best in terms of quality poetry.
There are also about a score more graphical greeting cards available, though you’ll have to hunt a bit to find them. Normally, the Greeting Card link in our main menu would take you to a page that lists all the available cards. But that page was already too big and the new additions would have pushed it into the 10-minute-load-time zone. Once we’re on the new web server (see my last News entry), I’ll be installing a brand new version of the Greeting Card software, with categories and lots more options. Stay tuned.
For many, the biggest news perhaps is that we’ve finally exhausted what seemed like an infinite supply of backlogged poetry. For the first time in nearly a year, Passions will be again be accepting new submissions at the main site (those participating in our very popular Forums have been able to submit since last December).
Major Talent Alert!
We’ve added a ton of new poets this month, and all of them are really good (or they wouldn’t be here). But a few in particular impressed me, so I wanted to point you in their direction. Passions is pleased to welcome Michael Mack, Christopher, Thomas and hoot owl rn as Resident Poets.
Should You Submit Your Poetry?
The form for submitting your poetry (oh, and short stories now, too) has changed a little but not a lot. Submitting is as easy as clicking the Submit button in our full menu. For the best chance of being published, be sure to read the short articles linked from that page.
There is, of course, only one reason to submit your poetry to Passions – to be exposed to a larger reading audience. At first glance, most people would assume this web site it built around poetry, but that’s only part of the truth. Passions, in fact, is built around sharing. If you wish to share your words, your thoughts, your feelings, your very essence, you will likely never find a better opportunity. Or a more receptive audience.
Passions in Poetry has grown tremendously in our relatively short life. Our growth hasn’t just been in terms of numbers, but also very much in terms of impact. A short time ago in our forums, I wrote a little about what Passions has become, and I’d like to repeat here a part of what I said there.
Our poems have been read as eulogies at funerals, as vows at marriages, as lessons by the teacher in front of a class. They have brought estranged friends together for the first time in years, been the sole vehicle whereby one family member could speak to another, and – in at least one alleged instance – resulted in a man proposing to the woman he loved a week after she emailed him a poem. They bring solace and joy, and a release from feeling as if no one else has ever felt what we now feel. At our peak, the main site gets over a million visitors a month (our summer traffic is less), but that’s still only a fraction of the people who ultimately read the poems. Several million more a month receive the poems in their email boxes, and we can only guess how many of those are forwarded to others, how many are printed out and handed to others, how many hear the words spoken directly.
True story. One visitor, who spent several hours at Passions, cast 27 votes in the course of a day. Since the votes and comments are stamped with the date and time, I could literally follow her through the site. Her earlier comments were terse, small but meaningful pats on the back for the poets. "Beautiful poem," she would write. "Very nice message." As the hours passed, however, I noticed a change. Her comments became not just more protracted, but also more personal. She would no longer just say it was a good poem, but would tell why it related to her, why it had touched her. By the end of her day at Passions, I probably knew more about her life than many in her family did. She had absorbed more than the heartfelt messages from the poetry, more than just the beautiful flow of words and images. I believe our poets taught her, through their own examples, how to open her heart. And in that moment, though her use of English didn’t really improve, that visitor to the main site became a poet. Can there be any greater reward to this thing we do than that?
Submitting your poetry to Passions probably won’t change your life. But it just might change the life of someone else.