Friday, June 4, 2010

Can't Use These

Well, not everyone can use your poems, as noted above in The Arcadian rejection slip.  Plus the editor is "yours faithfully," which really does seem a bit arcane and for which it is difficult to find a modern application. Anyway, this rejections reminds me of a birthday party I was at way a long time ago with a bunch of famous poets (one of them sort of famous; one of them actually very famous). As usual, I was bitching and moaning about being a writer, about how hard it is, and I mentioned that I thought it would be even more difficult to be a poet. Well, you'd have thunk I said I'd killed my mother with my bare hands in front of them.  Both looked askance at me and then went on to rhapsodize about what a privilege and honor it was to be a poet. They tried to outdo each other in gratitude and humility about their great poetry fortune, meaning fate, not money. I guess they never had the tortured writing days (years) that I've had. Well, good for them.  I wouldn't wish writing torture on anyone.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

well, two famous poets would act like the craft is its own reward. make the same comment in front of a some poets who only get published in hand-made chapbooks and online magazines; i'm sure you'll get a more sympathetic, and more real response.

i had a few semi-famous poetry professors like that in college and grad school. their non-famous counterparts confided in me that once they became "names," their attitude changed like that. fame must be some kind of transfigurative force for poets.

so trust me, they had the same tortured writing years as anyone, and the weren't born farting rainbows.

Kay said...

ha same thing with artists! We all kvetch over never selling our art or winning contests and then when someone is actually able to make a living as an artist..well it is such a blessing! Blech

Lit J said...

For most poets, because money is never an option, it's about a lifestyle, a mode of existence, a form of looking at life.

So because they have such low monetary expectations about their product, they don't have the same kind of angst as fiction writers, who are actually trying to "make it."