Friday, June 12, 2009

To a Frustrated Poet: A Poem by J. Patrick Lewis

Today, I have a poem written by my friend J. Patrick Lewis, a popular children’s poet. As an aspiring poet myself--and as someone who has received her share of rejection letters--I certainly got a chuckle out of Pat’s poem—To a Frustrated Poet.

In addition to being an author of children’s books, Pat also writes clever light verse for adults. Many of his humorous poems have appeared in Light Quarterly. Here are links to some of those poems:

- Click here to read some of J. Patrick Lewis’s Animal Epitaphs included in the Autumn 2006 issue.

- You can read several more of Pat’s clever light verses in the Summer 2000 issue.

Thanks, Pat, for granting me permission to post your poem here!

To a Frustrated Poet
by J. Patrick Lewis

Every June I take out of the filing cabinet the folder
of rejections, groaning under the weight of noooooooooooo,
and admire them.

Black Hole shows a woodcut of a masked executioner
about to cleave a slush pile that, ignobly, they tell me,
I have helped to erect.

Unemployed Muse says with uncommon clarity,
We do not publish poems in a foreign language—GIBBERISH.
And how thoughtful of Dear God! Review to return
my manuscript with the stamps unused. Lordie, they say,
you obviously need the postage more than we do.

Violent Doilies is succinct: Are You Kidding Me?
In 72-point type.

Sorry, states Hurt Me Broadsides, re a ms.
I sent in sometime during the Tet Offensive,
We read only on the third Friday after the Vernal Equinox.
During lunch.

Frustrated, I can’t help but wonder if my poems
will ever find shelter in the likes of Ipecac, 666 squared,
True Crhymes or—if only!—B=L=A=T=H=E=R.
But when my wife yells up, Pizza’s here, my mood
brightens inexplicably—and I stuff another envelope


At Wild Rose Reader, I have a review of Sky Magic, a wonderful new poetry anthology compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Critique de Mr. Chompchomp.


jama said...

What a delight! Loved this one. Thanks, Elaine and Patrick!

Marinela said...

Thanks, Elaine and Patrick for sharing this poem,I enjoyed reading it :)

laurasalas said...

Love this!

(I have thought about submitting a few of my adult poems to lit journals, but honestly, I can't face the mountain of research and time, followed by the barrage of nos. Thanks for letting me laugh about it here!)

Elaine Magliaro said...

Jama, Marinela, & Laura,

I enjoyed this poem by Pat--although I've never submitted adult poems to literary journals. I think it may be just as difficult getting children's poems published.