On publishing poetry


In the early years of the last decade, I made a bit of an effort to publish my poetry. Even though I was moderately successful at getting my work published in a half a dozen poetry and general magazines, the press of work responsibilities diverted my attention.

I was reminded of that yesterday by the arrival of vol. 60 of The Voice of Truth International, published by World Evangelism Foundation. The inside cover sports my poem “Joy to All,” sent to the Cloudburst Poetry list in May, 2008. The editors picked it up from somewhere, it wasn’t even my initiative of submission. And, truth be told, I probably would have submitted another. But I’m glad to see it there.

The poet sometimes feels like — I was going to say “the voice crying in the wilderness.” But that biblical phrase describing John the Baptizer doesn’t fit what I want to say, since the entire region heard John; he wasn’t out there doing his thing alone, making his proclamation to the rocks and locusts. The poet sometimes feels passed up, like the typewriter of yesterday that no one wants. But that is a millenial lament of most poets, I suspect.

A poet writes because he must, be the audience large or small, composed of people or locusts. So I keep writing and sending verses to the list, even though it hasn’t grown and few if ever comment on what I’m sending.

I think I know how headbangers feel.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?