Now then, where was I? Oh, that’s right, I was lamenting rejection and workshop fatigue last week. Now, after reflection and the passage of time (and an email), I’ve moved on. I find that being a writer makes one somewhat bi-polar; one day you’re tearing up manuscripts in despair and the next, you’re accosting strangers on the street to share your good news.
Tuesday evening, I dragged myself to class to face the inevitable critique. I read my poem aloud without making eye contact with my classmates. Finished, I picked up my pen to take notes. The initial remarks were what I expected: people didn’t like the repeating refrain, the poem needs more detail, more metaphor. Some liked the closed form, the use of triplets. Others didn’t understand the historical context. Then the professor weighed in: the poem is very controlled, well-constructed, just needs to break out of the tightly controlled form to reach a deeper, more ambitious place.
Success! They didn’t hate it! I can breathe again, I don’t have to drop the class in disgrace (well, now I’m being melodramatic). I’ve set aside my doubts about workshop –at least until the next poem is due.
The following day, I received an email telling me that two of my poems have been accepted for publication by Route 7 Review. Two! That’s greater riches than I ever expected. I haven’t started accosting strangers, at least not yet, but I am enjoying the moment.