Writers: A Room of Our Own

by Polly Whitney

Home Forums Living Poetry Introduction to "Living Poetry"

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    Polly Whitney
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    Poetry is extremely difficult to write and extremely difficult to publish. I think it’s vital to concentrate on the writing and leave the publishing work to worry about later. What I mean is something like this: Don’t write a NEW YORKER poem. Write the poem that you need to write. It’s, in my experience, much easier to sell several poems than to sell just one. I’d say that, for poetry, building a body of work is crucial. I think it would be an interesting project to write a slim volume of sonnets. Say thirty 14-line poems. I read a great deal of poetry. I keep THE COLLECTED POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON on my night stand. Going to bed with almost unthinkable beauty and lightning lucidity in your head and heart might result in a good night’s sleep. I know it’s worked for me, and for centuries of other readers.

    Let’s talk.

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