Thursday, January 17, 2008

rejection as new life

Those of you who write and send work out in hopes someone will publish it, have strong feelings about the process, I’m sure. Have you written a poem about it? In Anthology of Magazine Verse 1980 there’s a poem by Elizabeth Flynn that turns the often discouraging process around. You type up your poems, you fold them in thirds, you jam them in an envelope with another envelope helpfully stamped & addressed to yourself. After a few months that envelope returns to you full of your poems, and “a neat note / acknowledging [your] insight and … craft, / [and] regretting that [your poems] do not … fit … [the magazine’s needs].”

Here’s what Flynn does with the scenario:

After Grave Deliberations …

When I Go
it should be by cremation,
my ashes slipped into
an 8 x 10 manila envelope
with a second (stamped and self-addressed)
inside, posted to God
in His capacity as editor
of Everything.

I stand
a better than even chance
of being returned to myself,
along with a neat note
acknowledging my insight and my craft,
regretting that I do not,
at that time, fit
His divine needs,
wishing me luck in placing myself

[ellipsis in original title]

source: Anthology of Magazine Verse 1980

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