Sunday, May 22, 2011

Around the place

A journal sent this interesting turn-down for a group of poems that work in my spare, understated style (which differs from my other styles):

We enjoyed the four poems you sent us – in particular for their powerful, evocative language and the crystal-clear images they conjured up in the reader's mind.
            Unfortunately, we're not especially enamored with poetry that contains a lot of nature imagery, as these do, mainly because we see so much of it around the place. Though not an absolute rule, it tends to be a topic we shy away from. So on this occasion we're going to pass on these pieces, but we'd certainly be interested in reading future submissions if you think you have something suitable.
I admire their willingness to tell me their thinking, to turn down poems they seem to like, and to hold to an aesthetic, even if I’d rather they went with their likes. Some of these poems work variations on the usual nature thing, but maybe that didn’t come across. And even those variations—let's call them non-nature nature poems—have a history within so-called nature poetry. (In another sense, I also believe that at some point it’s all nature poetry all the way down.) Anyway, it was generous of busy editors to take the time and trouble to say what they’re thinking, including its mix of nerve and vulnerability.