Words In The Silence
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Words In The Silence

Some more reflection on COVID and summer poetry.

Words In The Silence
Zak Erickson

Back in June, when I moved down to Wellfleet on Cape Cod for the summer, I wrote two articles (you can look at them here and here if you like) about what it was like moving to a quiet place during a pandemic as a young poet. Now, two months later, I'd like to continue my reflection.

The coronapocalypse (as I like to call it) was like fate taking a sledgehammer to my world as a Fordham undergraduate, and this was, in a sense, alright, because I was set to graduate (and did graduate) in May, anyway. (I don't, in saying that, intend to downplay the seriousness of the situation for a lot of people or even the upheaval that I've been feeling too.) I was lucky enough to learn, right when I had to leave Fordham, that I had been accepted into Columbia University's MFA program. I'll be starting my degree in Poetry next month, online, so I, fortunately, have something of a way out of the malaise of coronavirus oblivion.

When I wrote my previous two articles about what I regarded as an impromptu private writer's retreat, I was living alone and Wellfleet, MA was rather quiet. Now, I have three housemates, and the Cape is considerably more abuzz. As far as I know now, I'll be staying here through the fall, when, I suppose, things will quiet down again.

During my time here, I've kept up a schedule (most of the time) of reading and writing every day. Earlier this week, I found out that a poem I submitted to the Cape Cod Times was selected to be published. I think of this as a nice milestone, since I've never before had anything published, other than in Fordham student publications.

I expect that, in some way or another, these long five months since the irruption of COVID will prove themselves to have been fruitful. I cannot be so pessimistic as to suppose that they've all been lived in vain. And I'd be a fool not to think that poetry, in its own way, makes it all worthwhile.

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