growing good trees
stuff that moves
Nicolette Bethel, The Carpenter Seals Lily’s Widowhood (1943)
Kamau Brathwaite, Stone
Kamau Brathwaite, Legba
Christian Campbell, Three Poems
Kwame Dawes, Some Tentative Differences I
Kei Miller, Two Poems
Derek Walcott, A Far Cry from Africa
Derek Walcott, The Sea is History
stuff that instructs
stuff that warns
There is no such thing as instant poetry. Instant crap, perhaps, but not instant poetry. Even those “geniuses” who appear to pen memorable verse at the first sitting have either spent plenty of time thinking about their lines before even picking up a pen, or have prepared the ground by reading so much that beautiful language comes naturally to them; there is nothing “instant” even about genius.
No one can write your poem for you. We’ll read your work and select what we think best fits the spirit and the sensibility of this journal. We may give you suggestions, if we think your work is almost right, but we won’t fix it for you. Ever. If we want to write our own poems, we’ll write ‘em.
The bottom line: laziness does not create poetry; whatever else poetry is, it involves work. Whether that work is reading more poems so that one gets a better understanding of the range and power of poetry, or reading books about poetry to see what other people say about it, or reading poetry posted on internet workshops and thinking about what’s right and wrong, or writing critiques, or working out the kinks in one’s own poems for oneself, it is still work. Without it, there is no poetry.
There’s no fairy godmother, no wand that can make a pumpkin into a coach, a mouse into a stallion, or
a group of
into a poem.