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In February I received a message, asking, "Why don't you have more poems?" I thought that was fair comment and deserved a reply. However, since it was not added as a comment, but placed in an article, I couldn't reply to it where it was; instead I had to erase all traces of the question's existence.

The more I thought about the question, the more I realized that it can be answered a number of ways; which is why, finally, I decided that the answer would take up most of this month's Community Message.

1) The shortest answer is that we're still too new. Originally I conceived PPP as having 3 modules: About poetry (articles on how to read and write poetry), About poets (articles on poetry history, schools and movements, and individual poets, and About poems (actual poems). I estimated that, approaching completeness on these three modules would require 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 entries respectively. As you can tell from the article count, the first is done, the second more than halfway, while the third is barely started. For now the focus will remain on About poets; when it turns to About poems, they will fill up quickly.

2) As is, we carry about 800 poems, which can be accessed in the About poems link. There are roughly 150 stand-alone poems; 350 poems embedded in articles; and 300 or so on Wikia's old, inactive Poetry Wiki. They range from old familiars to complete unknowns. They've been added over the years, somewhat haphazardly. Some can also be accessed from the author's article.

3) A further 500 poems can be found at our sister publication, http://gdancesbetty.blogspot.ca/p/welcome.html The Penny Blog]. Those 500 have been personally selected by me; I still add to the blog on weekends, meaning roughly 100 new poems there each year. There is some overlap, but there are also important differences: the blog obeys Canadian copyright laws, while the wiki follows American, meaning that different poems are public domain for each. As well, some of the poems on the blog are copyrighted with all rights reserved, meaning they will never appear on the wiki. You can check out the full list of poems here.

4) For now, the bulk of our poetry is accessible via external links. The main sites we link to can be accessed in our List of online poetry resources, but poems in those and many other sites are also linked in External Links sections of the articles on their authors. Each time we add a new poet, we search for and try to add at least one link to some of his or her poems. We even link whole poetry books, for some authors: you can find those in the Publications sections of those authors' articles. Considering that one external site alone (PoemHunter) claims to have over 800,000 poems, I think it's conceivable that our external links connect our readers to more than one million poems online.

5) This year, we have begun adding to and fixing up the About poems module. In the main that's a matter of adding direct links between the poems and their authors' articles, eliminating the old Author articles which were just one more hurdle between author and poem. For a select list of authors, I've also been adding pictures to give those pages a better look. in January I added 8 poems by Emily Dickinson#Poems by Emily Dickinson; in February it was the turn of Alfred, Lord Tennyson#Poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I hope to do a similar addition for a poet each month.

I hope that answers the question. In fact we do have quite a few poems, provided that one knows where to look for them. I hope that this month's column helps one do just that. George Dance (talk) 02:03, April 8, 2013 (UTC)

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