Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Long & Short of It

Apparently, according to Bill Knott "...short poems are not real poems, are they in the Norton, is there a short poem in David Lehman's anthols, he's the boss of poetry what he says goes and he says no to short poems, does Louise Gluck write short poems of course not, ergo the short poem is not a legitimate mode or form, ..."

Some of my best work (such as it is) might be considered abbreviated. Is in fact the short poem really that easily dismissed by poetry editors or is this a format that is ideal for the 21st century attention spans? I had always been taught that the economy of words in poetry is something "devoutly to be wished". Shouldn't a poem be measured on a PPL (Punch Per Line) or PPW (you figure it out) basis?

Apparently some people agree with me & thus they have launched a quarterly magazine devoted to mico poems & micro fiction - called you guessed it :

INCH

Submission Guidelines

Poetry: We are looking for smart, complete poems one to nine lines in length. Don't send us a good line or three-- send us a complete poem that bites, resonates, or sleeps with giants. Submit one to five poems with a cover letter. You may include more than one poem per page provided that you insert ample space in between. We do not accept previously published work or simultaneous submissions. Submit your work to Inch because it belongs in our magazine, not because you're desperate to place it somewhere. All rights revert to the author upon publication, though we will occasionally ask if we may reprint poems in our double-sized spectacular issues. Pays three copies. Submissions that include poems longer than nine lines in length will be read and ignored.

Fiction: Flash fiction. Microfiction. Call it what you will; Inch publishes the finest stories of 750 words or less. Submit one to three stories for consideration. Include a cover letter. All rights revert to the author upon publication, though we will occasionally ask if we may reprint fiction in our microfiction bonanza issues. Pays three copies.

Submissions should be addressed to the fiction or poetry editor's attention. Include SASE. Mail submissions to:

Inch / Bull City Press
1217 Odyssey Dr.
Durham, NC 27713

E-mail submissions are not accepted.
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Now, excuse me, I'm off to write some narrative poetry!

8 comments:

Agnes said...

If short poems aren't real poems then I guess I prefer unreal poems.

Reminds me of Randy Newman's song "Short People." Just substitute "poems" for "people"

Short Poems got no reason
Short Poems got no reason
Short Poems got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet

Well, I don't want no Short Poems
Don't want no Short Poems
Don't want no Short Poems
`Round here

I've yet to write anything longer than a sestina. For me, that's long.

Agnes

Nick said...

Just to be fair to Randy he did have this chorus as part of his song:

Short People are just the same
As you and I
(A Fool Such As I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's A Wonderful World)

Collin said...

Bill Knott can kiss my buttons. His ancient, academic ramblings are part of what's wrong with poetry today. Ignore the old bastard and write what you want.

Collin said...

Oh, and did mention he's bitter as well? Didn't FSG offer to publish a selected poems collection of his and he blew them off??? Say what? So now he just publishes poems on his blog because he thinks he's too good for FSG or big magazines because he percieves some old slight? Maybe if he had actually gotten out and promoted his books rather than hoping a small imprint like BOA would do it for him, he might have had more success. Get off the cross, Bill, we need the wood.

Nick said...

"Get off the cross, Bill, we need the wood. "

LOL!

jeannine said...

Louise Gluck's "Telemachus' Detachment:"

When I was a child
looking at my parents' lives, you know
what I thought? I thought
heartbreaking. Now I think
heartbreaking, but also
insane. Also
very funny.

Short, baby. Supershort.

Nick said...

Jeanine, thanks for this poem by Gluck! :-)

Mike Mc said...

Long poems are like a politician who won't get to the point and doesn't know when to quit. That's my attitude and I'm sticking to it.