Saturday, March 18, 2006

Nota bene

Here's an interesting note: I went back into my submission files today and did the math. "O" was rejected ten times before getting that honorable mention in the Thomas Merton Foundation contest. (Of those ten, I think I had one or maybe two encouraging notes that didn't single out any particular poem from the submission packet, and there was one that specifically said they enjoyed this poem.) Ten rejections isn't all that many as those things go, but it's enough to notice.

The moral of the story, of course, is that if you've written a poem you believe in and you want it to be published, persistence pays. Sometimes, anyway.

Of course, first you have to write poems you believe in. That's the hard part. I wish I did it more often, that's for sure.

This coming Friday evening, Five Women Poets -- the poetry group of which I am a member -- will be featured at the Runcible Spoon Reading Series. Should be fun. At our meeting the other night we decided we can each have about ten minutes, so I need to figure out what to read. I'm thinking two car-crash poems, two jazz poems, and one or two others -- but I'm not sure yet. I love reading at the Spoon because I've spent SO much time there over the years that it feels very comfortable and homey to me. (In fact, I was just there today for brunch!)

I've been reading Jane Hirshfield's Given Sugar, Given Salt today and loving it. I've probably read scattered poems of hers here and there, but hadn't read any of her books, and am now kicking myself for waiting so long. She's reading at Butler University in Indianapolis the week after next and I am planning to go.

The weather is still chilly, but after drenching rains and quite a bit of flooding last week the grass is green and there are crocuses, a few daffodils, and the beginnings of forsythia. Robins are hopping around. The days are longer. I think we've just about survived another winter.

EDIT: As soon as I said that, I may have to retract it -- the weather forecast I just saw calls for heavy snow and single-digit temperatures early in the week. YEOW.


jenni said...

Jane H is a magnificant poet. I just ordered her newest book. What i like about her work is the calmness/hope of the speaker even in the face of sometimes very tragic/disturbing emotional situations.

Collin said...

I second your emotion on persistance to find the right home for a poem you love. I still have a few in my folder that I hope one day will find the perfect place. Thanks for the link, by the by, I'm adding you as well. Another great blog to read. :)