Vol. 2, No. 4 An Online Chapter of Missouri State Poetry Society 1 April 2003
IT'S SPRINGTIME, TIME TO RESURRECT DEAD POEMS!
Like many of you, I occasionally send poems to editors in hope one will be selected for publication, though I know there are at least 100 poems submitted for every poem chosen. In fact, one editor told me, he uses about five poems for each issue of his semiannual literary journal. He said he reads until he finds five good ones and shelves the others for a later issue, but of course eventually for the sake of space he throws out the accumulated stack. This seems cruel--to kill a poem before you even know its name--but, as we all know, editors are almost human and almost live lives. My main concern this month, however, is not cruel, heartless editors. Rather it is a guideline that is my concern--the guideline of publications and of many contests that requires that submissions be unpublished. Once a poem has lived in ink, it is as good as dead. Had the rule applied to Edgar Allan Poe, poor Poe would have had one half-book of poetry instead of four books in his body of work. He wrote only 48 poems but managed to collect them again and again, changing the title of the book to feature his new poems, but not changing the titles of the formerly published poems. To me, a poem--mine or another poet's--gains an ambiance with time, so that it is enriched when I return to it. It becomes different from the poem it was originally. It may cry out for revision--and what work doesn't? Or it may not seem to have found its proper niche, and therefore seeks a new home or at least proper recognition. It should be resurrected in its newly modified form, I feel, so I am delighted to find publications and contests that carry the line "Previously published poems accepted." Practicing what we preach, Missouri State Poetry Society allows previously published poems as entries in our summer and winter contests, in Spare Mule, even in GRIST, our state anthology. Although we don't repeat poems in the same publication, we do allow poems from one venue to appear in another. So, send along your "golden oldies" or your "brand newies." Share them for the first time--or the next time-- with us.--Tom Padgett, Editor
Missouri State Poetry Society
National Federation of State Poetry
ONLINE NEWLETTERS ARE NOW AVAILABLE NOW
Remember to read Spare Mule Online and Strophes Online at the addresses given on the Contents menu. You can keep up with members who get newsletters by mail by remembering to read them on the Net. You get a slightly better issue anyway, since we are always finding mistakes in the newsletters and correcting them, which we can do easily on the Net but not at all on the printed copies. If you, however, feel empty-handed without a hard copy, print you one.
Remember to read Spare Mule Online and Strophes Online at the addresses given on the Contents menu.
DANA GIOIA, HEAD OF NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
Recently named head of the National Endowment for the Arts, Dana Gioia is also at the center of a controversy over the place of poetry in today's world. Learn about this man, read some of his poems, and read his essay that sparked the controversy
Visit the site at this address for Gioia's biography and four of his poems:
At this same site find his controversial Atlantic Monthly essay, "Can Poetry Matter?"
TO THE LAWN AND GARDEN SHOW
AN OPTIMISTIC FELLOW
THE GRACE OF JOY IS FREE
JUST BEFORE SLEEP--
STATUETTE OF ROBERT FROST
REMEMBER TO VISIT THE WORKSHOP PAGE FOR LESSON 6.