Rejection letters

From a lifetime’s correspondence between a poet and the editor who rejected all submissions but one:

Aside from your extraordinary abuse of the semicolon, your poetry utterly fails to reflect the turbulence of our times, the political upheaval, and dawning cosmic consciousness, and the allusion to the fall of man was pretentious at best. (“Behold! the fritter of good and evil.”) More successful was the sexuality intimated in “your sugar-laced grottoes and your vall-ays,” even if your rhyme scheme again reared its ugly, strict head and slaughtered your metaphor.

Rigid rhymes are old news, sir, and modern poetry has been freed from these chains. Rhymes went out with rumble seats and Sara Teasdale. (Come to think of it, I went out on a blind date with Sara Teasdale, and it’s a good thing I was blindfolded.)


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