Monday, February 06, 2006

All the Way Back from Poetry

Today the first of many rejection letters came in after a flurry of sending materials out at the end of 2005. Here are your poems back, it says. It’s a hopeful thing to have material in the mail, though, hope like a paper airplane flying, like a seed in the ground. The planes come down. More positive is the thought that many seeds sprout. They don’t grow if you don’t plant them (something your mom tells you, but it's true). You put some writing in an envelope and you send it off to meet its fate rather than hiding it in a folder on your desktop.

It’s a hopeful thought too, though probably na├»ve, that the poems spent a few moments in the hands of someone at the citadel. These poems came back from Poetry magazine with a tidy little note that indicates the care with which the poems were considered, how they wish they had time to write, how they appreciate my interest.

When the first astronauts went to space, they took with them souvenirs to return to earth with, items that had crossed with them into the beyond. So my poems have done, come back from 444 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1850, Chicago, where the air is thin, where, in the pages of the magazine, you can see stars.


Jory-san said...

hi and thanks for visiting my blog. as always i take the time to check out the ramblings of others. i feel like your entry about the rejection letter (especially the last paragraph) is worthy of publication in any rag of note.

i also appreciate your horseshoe 7 origin story. i myself am a fan of ages past retold and relived by my grandfather during the later years of his life.

sonoftheprodigal said...

cheer up buddy. a rejection letter doesn't mean your poems are bad. it just means they do not meet the standars (read: marketability) of the editors and publishing firm.

i have had a series of rejection letters too but i don't bend with their desire to write what i don't want to. i will just go on writing and writing until i perfect my craft and they'll be the ones to beg me to publish my poems with their company.

JN said...

No lack of cheer here, nor any overbearing concern that the poems are bad, just that they didn't mesh with the readers' current needs, as you say. But it was there, and it wouldn't have been if I hadn't sent it. Thanks for the comment.