Skirting the Fringes of Copyright
Image via WikipediaI have a bulging folder of my favorite poems written by famous and not so famous poets. I have been wanting to add a periodic blog of these poems but I still haven’t figured out how to handle the copyright issues.
After finding yet another favorite poem today, this time William Meredith’s poem, “A Vision of Good Secrets,” the urge to post it was strong. Why not? After all, the author is dead and besides that I found it on someone else’s blog! Yet it still didn’t seem right.
So I did a little more research on copyright infringement on the internet and added those pages to yet another bulging folder to try and find a definitive answer. The issue to me is wondering how bloggers rationalize posting the creative work of others on their blog. I’m not pointing fingers as much as I’m curious about how blogging has stretched the limits of what used to be taken for granted as an unbreakable rule, an honor code punishable by heaps of shame and shunning if not by judicial process.
Rose DesRochers at “World Outside my Window” offers straightforward wisdom on the topic in her blog, “Copyright Infringement: Request Permission,” while Bobby Revell at “Revellian dot com” takes a more humorous (and completely ethical) approach in his blog, “How to Steal Blog Content: Ethically.”
However, neither of their thoughtful posts were on target with my dilemma: how can I post my favorite poems without spending eons tracking down permission to use them? I’m waiting for a reply from the Special Collections Librarian at Connecticut College where they host a website of William Meredith poetry. Perhaps they have some sage advice since they had to tackle it themselves a few years ago when posting a tribute to William Meredith.
Meanwhile, to pacify myself I’ll post two poems from two of my favorite mystical poets Emily Dickinson and Rainer Maria Rilke where copyright infringement isn’t an issue…at least I don’t think so…..oh great, now I have myself wondering…….
Hopefully I’ll have an answer soon and will be able to share the gems written by William Meredith with you.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Nearly every writer has at least heard of Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” if not own a copy of it. It’s a gem of a book, thin, yet rich with his love of writing and his compassion for others. However, his mystical poetry shares the searching of his spirit for union with the divine through sublime imagery that is timeless.
Image via Wikipedia
Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.
Emily Dickinson often gets dismissed as an eccentric agoraphobic poetess until you take a few minutes or hours or days to study the precision with which she articulates her world of ideas. Take a look yourself at her work as an audio or text file at Project Gutenberg.
You’ll know it – as you know ‘tis noon
By intuition, Mighty Things
Assert themselves – and not by terms –
“I”m Midnight” – need the Midnight say –
“I”m Sunrise” – Need the Majesty?
Omnipotence – had not a Tongue –
His lisp – is lightning – and the sun –
His Conversation– with Sea –
“How shall you know”?
Consult your eye!