From an email from an SCT commenter:
As you can see, I've tried to contribute a bit, but (as I think you hinted in response to my most recent posting) my critiques tend to be pretty "meta" and "outsider-ly" and therefore might not be well-suited for what you're aiming to do with the blog. I'll consider that fact before posting further...I have expressed myself poorly indeed if I've implied that anyone's comment have in any way been beside-the-point. On the contrary, comments are precisely what I hoped for when I started the blog in the first place. There may be some who want a megaphone to shout into a soundproof box, but that's not me. It is possible that we might wind up "talking past" each other at first, but to my mind--and I really cannot emphasize this enough--the how of the exchange is every bit as important, if not more so, that is the what, the substance or content. If I miss your point or you miss mine, I am interested, precisely as a philosopher (I really do hold that philosophy is about love), in us "getting it." Of course this might require more patience or time than anyone can muster at any given moment (I have failed, and will fail, to respond to every comment, partly from following doctor's orders to forgo always having the last word, but also partly out of sloth and inattention). But human failings or the proclivities of chance are to be forgiven. One hopes.
What I mean is that if you have a notion triggered by something I write, even if it were pure free-association on your part, it would behoove me to understand the relevance you sense. I don't have to agree, and I don't have to think it important, but if I am responding, I ought to understand what I'm responding to. I keep saying "metalepsis," a word I use in order to keep the cloud of connotations it has, but this "getting it" is a huge part of what I mean. This is the following of the "secret roads that go from world to world," in this case the world you inhabit and the one I am in. If you are writing one poem and I am writing another, there is some way between them, and it's this way I am interested in. The "aha," "eureka" moment of seeing what the other person means is not just a necessary preliminary to discourse; in a certain sense it's the whole. damn. thing.
This isn't a promise to be interested in every comment equally, nor to pretend to be; nor is it to imply that there are not differences between the informed and the uninformed or even the pertinent and the impertinent. (Nor, needless to say, is it carte blanche to trolls or even lapses of (n)etiquette.) What it means is that if I think you're saying something irrelevant, that I just don't get, or for that matter (not that it's happened so far, but a glance through comments on other blogs makes me shudder sometimes) something downright rude, I will say so clearly, and not imply it. And if you think I've missed your point, you may feel free to clarify.
The take-away is, if you feel like commenting, for heaven's sake please do. I genuinely want this. In fact I would go so far as to say that for me the blog only gets really interesting in the comments. The more I have a sense of exactly who I am writing to, the better I write, and the better I think. The posts themselves are often mere journalism. The typeface is bigger, so they have to keep their hair combed and mind their manners. The comments are the fine print--the details. And you know who's there.
This pertains to any post, no matter when it was posted.
Now that I've said it, I'm realizing I'll probably have some cause to regret it.... Do I really have the guts to click "post"? Let's find out.