Letters to Tom — Facebook

Dear Tom:

My kids have encouraged me to join Facebook. They think I will get a bigger audience and more support for www.webbhubbell.com and www.thehubbellpew.com and additional attention to the Mark of Cain Foundation. I have been reluctant to join in the past, but my reluctance probably comes from the unknown aspect of it, which is not a very good reason at all. So I joined last Sunday and we will see. Already one benefit is to just hear from old friends, especially from high school. It seems like an easy way to connect with people who you don’t know where they are and do not know what they have been up to in over 40 years.

As I began the process I thought about this modern concept or phenomena called social media. People connecting by a new medium but with written words not speech. And as I thought about the written word, communication, and old friends from high school my mind wandered to poetry. I don’t know if children are taught to write and read poetry anymore in school. I will have to ask Kelley, but I certainly was. We started reading and writing poetry early, and by the time we graduated from high school we were familiar with the classics and meters and rhymes. I didn’t engage in the study of poetry in Engineering or Law school, but poetry’s efficiency and economy sneaks in to the training nonetheless.

Lately I have been reintroduced to poetry through my friendship with gifted poet friends in DC, Anne and Brenda. I started receiving my friend Roger’s sonnets by e-mail, and you showed me at the beach your latest poetry, and gave me a book on the poetry of the mystics and saints.

When I think of the clutter or “noise” that is out there in the media and on the Internet, I am drawn to poetry. When I hear about limiting expression to a finite number of words in such mediums as Twitter, I think of the economy of poetry. Each word is carefully chosen, there is no clutter, the wind blows freely through the spaces. Poetry is also multi-layered. The rich images and metaphors lead to multiple layers of meaning. Poems are in some way like Facebook graciously inviting guests to enter and connect their own dots.

The holy Scriptures are full of poetry, and I am sure the texts of other faiths are as well. You have already introduced me to the Poetry of the Sufi mystics and dervishes. In the scriptures, if it is not poetry the language is poetic. Once you start examining the words and allowing them to soak in, wonderful things start to happen. It’s like an ocean breeze blowing through your hair and cooling your spirit.

If all the new ways to communicate bring a little more poetry in our lives then I say let it happen.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

1 Comment +

  1. Quite well said. A little envious of those who who have the ability to put into words and on paper what their mind concieves. I am a poet, indeed, but my vision is mine alone.

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