For years now, we’ve been asked to do a men’s collection, and for years we’ve hesitated – not because we didn’t want to make one, but because we wanted to make it right, we wanted to make it true. We also knew that it was going to need a good name, and this was a bit daunting.
It came down to questions of character.
In the realm of Waxing Poetic, being called a poet is the highest form of praise. Why? Because we love poets. We love noticers. We love the idea that there is both a profession and hidden-in-plain-sight sensibility sharing roughly the same name to describe people who live in the very same world as us, speak our same language, and yet, by virtue of the way they employ that language, change both it and us when they share their observations.
Poets are explorers, not always in terms of travel or terrestrial adventures, but by way of showing and telling. Poets don’t need a lot of flowery excess to convey meaning because they’ve been paying attention to the right details all along.
When we asked each other what qualities we most admire in men, we kept finding that they were the same qualities we most admired in poets – namely, the practice of paying attention, noticing details, and sharing their experience of the world using the familiar (language, symbols, characters, meaning) in slightly unfamiliar (to us) ways.
All of our favorite men are poets. Why? Because they are. Because the best men, the best heroes, the best characters, the best husbands, boyfriends, grandfathers, fathers, friends, brothers, uncles, nephews, grandsons, etc are all composed of combinations and contradictions, but they all share something in common: they notice and they pay attention. By this logic, they are poets.
How does one become a poet? Use familiar tools in an unfamiliar way. Search beyond the surface. Sense the something more. Find the tells. Show and share them. It’s an old formula, often forgotten and even less articulated, but it always works. It works, we think, because it was already true to begin with. How do we make our men Poets? We don’t. Not literally. We don’t force pens or typewriters or laptops in front of them, font cued up, hand them a theme. No, not poet like that. Poet like Noticer, Poet like Hero.
Who is the most interesting character in the room? The one who is noticing. Poets are hiding in plain sight. The man with the sketchbook in the war movie? The poet in the trenches. The poet in the lab. The poet in the classroom. The poet in the boardroom. The poet out surfing. The poet teaching your children to play baseball. The poet who is just this very moment about to finish reading a crime novel, followed by a good Belgian in a bell-shaped glass and about five more minutes in that marinade (for the steaks, babe). That poet. The one who notices.
We elected to give our favorite men our favorite term, and in doing so, designed a collection meant to augment their individual sensibilities with noteworthy, nuanced details: pieces designed to accent innate style versus overtly scripting it, pieces that when employed by the wearer don’t transform him into something new but instead draw concentrated attention to his existing poetic self. To that end, we are humbled and delighted to introduce our POET to the world.