Wednesday, October 16, 2013

No unsolicited poetry, please.

Why can't he write about what he's writing about? Poets...
Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest;
Or curious traitors, sleeve-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes' wand'ring eyes.

- Excerpt from The Bait by John Donne*

I've been distributing my writing in a few places that pay one to do such and having more success than I expected. That, of course, has led me to look for other places upon which to inflict to submit my words.

I find it amusing that in a number of submission guidelines I have found the following phrase:

No unsolicited poetry, please.

I am no poet, as I have demonstrated in the past, and no judge of poetry. I don't particularly enjoy the form though on occasion I will read a piece that is recommended. But I was struck by the request. Clearly there must be some supply-demand imbalance in the poetry world; so much poetry is available that it must be turned away. Are there really that many poets out there? Or are they generally worse than they think they are? Or both?

Not submitting poetry. Anywhere.

* And it's not even a poem about fishing! Damn that poetry, it's always about something else!

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