The internet has proven anything can go viral, including, believe it or not, poetry. Just ask Columbus poet Maggie Smith, who was recently thrust into an international conversation about the role of art in dealing with tragedy after her poem, "Good Bones," went viral.

The internet has proven anything can go viral, including, believe it or not, poetry. Just ask Columbus poet Maggie Smith, who was recently thrust into an international conversation about the role of art in dealing with tragedy after her poem, "Good Bones," went viral.

In between interviews with Slate and The Guardian, among others, and a weeklong teaching conference at Kenyon College, Smith responded via email to a few questions about the poem and its response.

Where were you when you first learned of the reaction to "Good Bones"?

Smith: I was at home working - I'm a freelance writer and editor - while my daughter was at day camp, and suddenly my Twitter feed started going absolutely crazy with retweets of the poem. At one point someone in Columbus retweeted it, and she had gotten it from Charlotte Church, the [Welsh] singer. Caitlin Moran, a writer for The Times [in London] also sent it out to her half million followers. That afternoon I heard from The Guardian and Slate, and from there everything went a little nuts. Of course I still had work to do, laundry to fold, a dog to walk, children to pick up from camp and daycare … and I was scrambling to keep up with messages and emails and requests. I was really stunned - and really excited.

It's inherently silly to ascribe any sort of metrics of success to a poem. But, is this your most "successful" poem? What makes it "successful" for you?

Smith: It's certainly my most widely read poem, and I'm happy with it, as a poem, aside from its popularity. But did I finish writing it and think it was my best poem? That this would be somehow different for all my other poems? No, not at all. I think the poem going viral has more to do with timing than anything - and unfortunately my anxiety-ridden little poem, written late last year, was published in a week full of tragedy. On one hand, it troubles me that the "success" of the poem is tied to these tragedies. On the other hand, it means so much to me that this poem has meant something to people during a very dark time.

How many interviews have you done now?

Smith: I've done a handful of interviews - Slate and The Seattle Review of Books in the United States, The Guardian and the i newspapers in the UK, among others. Most writers want to know why I wrote the piece, what it means to me and how I feel about it going viral. It's been a busy time, certainly, but it's also given me the rare opportunity to think - and talk - about a poem in a way I often don't. And I've found myself talking, too, about my experience as a writer and mother, and how parenthood has changed my work.

Are you surprised by the unique ways your poem has touched people?

Smith: Yes, I suppose I am surprised. It's meant so much to me to hear - in emails, Facebook messages, tweets - from people all over the world: parents who are home with their new newborn for the first night, a woman with postpartum depression, people who are mourning. It's surprising, of course, because I didn't know this poem would do this work. But I also know how poems have been there for me when I needed them.

You've done a ton of interviews, the poem's being translated into a bajillion languages and on social media you've mentioned prints of some sort. What's next?

Smith: Tupelo Press will be releasing a beautifully designed, signed broadside of "Good Bones" next week. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Orlando Youth Alliance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a safe space for GLBTQ youth in Central Florida. I know that "Good Bones" has touched people, but I love that another kind of good could come from this poem, too.