Gyroscope Review 16-4 - Page 4

FROM THE EDITORS Welcome to our first issue with a theme. When Constance and I decided to issue a call for poems with some underlying idea about honor, we hoped that we would get pieces that went beyond people in uniform. We wanted poets to explore the ideas that hold the very foundation of honor. How do we learn it? Who teaches us? How do we show honor, act with honor, feel honored? But in this contentious election season, and with the recent 15th anniversary of 9-11, thinking about honor beyond the obvious images of military and politics proved to be difficult. But perhaps that is the conversation we desperately need to have: how to be honorable in the face of ferocious disagreements about how to live in this world. And that is the task of a poet or any other artist: figuring out how to define what is happening around us, how to hold it up for others to consider. We offer you 11 poems that came in at the behest of our themed call, and they are the most varied group we could assemble from the submissions we received. These pieces cover war, of course, both current and past, as well as human rights, hard work, acceptance, courage. They consider the aftermath of honorable service, the history that honorable acts create. We’ve nestled the honor poems in their own special section in the middle of this issue. Our regular submissions, as we’ve come to expect, are widely varied. We love reading what poets are thinking about. We love seeing all the different styles and structures poets employ to get their ideas across. Relationships, home, nature, and details of everyday life are constant sources of poetic inspiration. If you are so inclined, after you have read this issue, let us know what inspires you. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson, Editor In this quarter's publication we ask, "How do you define honor?”. It wouldn't be fair to pose that question without attempting to answer it ourselves. At first glance there would appear to be somewhat of a dichotomy between honor and poetry. What does one have to do with the other? It's interesting that discussions of honor usually focus on the military, as Kathleen states in her editorial. We look to the military as a sort of John Wayne keeper of our honor, content in the idea the military will do the honorable things for us, so we don't have to think about it. It may surprise you to learn I served in the U.S. Army. I come from a family of military veterans and grew up hearing stories of service in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Service was a duty my relatives felt obligated to do. They went without resentment. They served, and when the time came, they got out and came home. It was no big deal. They did it because it had to be done. They did it because it was expected of them - by themselves and others. They did it because it was the right thing to do. Gyroscope Review 16-4 Page i! i