Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I have a serious question.  I want to know how much poetry is tied to popularity and fad.  I am asking for some very serious reasons.

1) Collin Kelley has stated "good" is a matter of taste.

2)Anyone who denies the increase of poems placed before the first section (in what always seems to be a three sectioned book) and "Notes" pages in books, is just lying to make friends.

Which leads me to ask:  Why does it appear manuscripts are being chosen as if they have been matched up against some sort of checklist?

Three sections?  Check

Poem with personification of some exotic animal?  Check

A Notes page to explain regional or colloquial language?  Check

One poem at the beginning of section three which "breaks" the mold?  Check

At least two ghazals?  Check

One poem about god which does nothing to clarify the poet's position? Check

Not so Subliminal nod to Bob Hicok? Check.

. . . well, you get the point.

* * *

I am being serious.  Why?  Because I am writing yet another manuscript of landscape meditation, and I really am having a lot of fun writing it and quite proud of the poetry in it, but that will only get me so far if there aren't any editors out there who enjoy these poems, too.  I know going in I've got a fight on my hand, but it would make things a lot easier inf I could figure out what's going on.

When I write poems about pop culture and contemporary themes, I get a lot of poems accepted for publication, but when I write these landscape meditations, I go for months without any good news from editors.  I don't want to simply aim my writing where I know it will hit the mark and be accepted.  I want to write the poems I know which need to be written.  It just feels like what my wife said to me.  She told me what I am writing is simply not in style right now.  Now, I know I am no Wendell Berry or Dave Lee or Gary Short, but I can and do hold my own, and I do know a thing or two.

So, my original question stands.  How much of this thing is popularity and fads?  Am I just not finding the right venues?  What am I missing?

1 comment:

  1. No wonder my manuscript isn't getting picked up--I don't have any of those things in mine....I also feel if you haven't been published in certain journal, you can just forget about it.