Who Shall Sing, If Man Is Gone is one of the first examples of publishing poetry on the Web. There are doubtless other original works of poetry that were put up on the Web in book form before this one was first posted (back in the mid 90's, when the web itself was young), but if so I don't know about them. This introduction was first written more than eleven years ago and the book had been online for a while even then (just not in an easily browseable form).
The poetry in this book (and its companion volume Hot Tea!) is both freely available on the web at:
and it may well be that you are reading these words there.
If so, be aware that it is also available as a printed, bound book that can be purchased online at my personal lulu storefront:
If you like this poetry, remember that buying the book (even an extremely inexpensive online version of it, also from lulu) helps to support the poet.
It is available in both forms because many people enjoy the look and feel of an actual paper book more than they do words on a cold white screen. A book can be easily taken with you. If dropped, it generally doesn't break. It requires no power supply. It is something you can take down and read for years, and hand down to your children so that they too can read and enjoy some of the same poetry you have enjoyed. A book has a soul. And best of all (from my point of view), purchasing a book helps to support the book's writer, thus ensuring a steady stream of new books!
Nevertheless, many have found the web form to be convenient, and alas there are plenty of people in the world who cannot easily afford books. The Who website above has registered hundreds of hits a day (above and beyond the inevitable webcrawler hits) from people all over the world. Poems in this collection have been been (re)published before in a number of venues, in some cases with accompanying graphical art contributed by artists such as my good net-friend Elizabeth Armstrong in Australia (whom I've never met, one of the paradoxes of the electronic age where 12,000 miles might as well be next door when viewed through a screen).
Poems were also featured on the old Cruxweb webring, and will be featured once again on the art website here:
of another good but unmet friend, Samantha A. Wallachy, at least as soon as I send her clean copies of some of the poems once again. Even though paper is lovely, there is something to be said for the web, as well, as it makes it so wonderfully easy to write, to publish, to communicate with and make friends with people all over the world.