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Unread 01-12-2019, 11:06 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
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But what motifs, Sam. It is Borges.
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Unread 01-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Location: Middle England
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We don't have to be goody-two-shoes about it. Everybody's good at something, ...but there's no denying the fact that a lot of people write absolutely bloody awful poetry!! Some people improve immeasurably because they're keen to learn, but I've met quite a few who never will.

I don't really see it as mocking, Rob, to shake one's head in disbelief when encountering something (not necessarily even poetry!) that has been done badly.

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Unread 01-15-2019, 06:46 PM
Erik Olson Erik Olson is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Portland, OR
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Nature cries moon-labyrinth,
inner darkness outer darkness.
Mean boys mirror dreams,
mean girls the stars.

Last edited by Erik Olson; 01-15-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Unread 01-16-2019, 06:20 PM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Location: Beaumont, TX
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It's not necessarily making fun to take a look at the work of people who do not want their poetry critiqued. Poetizer is a "safe space" for them, and that's fine. It reminds me of those "anthologies" put together by outfits called something like The World of Poetry years ago. The only difference here is that one can see his or her work published without having to pay for the book. The same list of motifs occurred then as now.
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Unread 01-16-2019, 07:33 PM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
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Oh, dear...

While most of our pages are available in a version of created for European Union users, some are currently unavailable. We are engaged on the issue and committed to identifying technical compliance solutions to this problem. Thanks for your interest in the Los Angeles Times.

Technology defeats us again?
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Unread 01-17-2019, 04:32 PM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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'World of Poetry' Awards Mean Big Bucks--Paid by the Winners
September 02, 1989|DAVID STREITFELD | The Washington Post
WASHINGTON Three thousand poets have arrived in Washington, and most of them are winners. World of Poetry, a for-profit California organization, is holding its fifth annual convention this weekend, its first in Washington. Bob Hope will perform, there will be a "Balloonathon," and literally thousands of awards will be presented.

But then, in the World of Poetry, it's hard not to be a winner. It's just that some of the versifiers don't know it, especially because their award letters call the honor the equivalent of an Oscar.

Mary Zangare, for instance, who is arriving from Las Vegas to collect her Golden Poet Award, said she thought she was one of only a dozen winners.

Actually, two-thirds of the poets in attendance at the Washington Hilton will collect Golden Poet awards. And those 2,000 are just the ones who are paying the $495 registration fee, plus air fare and hotel bill.

World of Poetry founder John Campbell said in an interview that two-thirds of the 75,000 entries to their contests this year won the award. A postcard sent out by World of Poetry, however, puts the number at "over 150,000."

"It's a considerable amount, and we're trying to increase that each year," Campbell said. "It's our way of encouraging poets and helping them to feel good about themselves. . . . I vowed as an editor I'd never send out a rejection slip, and I never have."

This is prompting growing disenchantment out in Golden Poet land. "We may be dumb hillbillies down here in Whopee Holler, but we're not stupid," said Kentuckian Tony Tribble, who got a letter informing him that he had won a Golden Poet Award in May. "They got a scheme to make money."

Poet Laureate Due

Tribble is not coming to the convention, but U.S. Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov is. He'll be addressing the group this morning. He said that while he had "some questions" about World of Poetry, he had made a commitment to appear and "as I can't get out of it, I'll go in with a good heart, a clean mouth and will keep a civil tongue in my cheek. . . . It's more like P.T. Barnum than Hitler, you know."

Meanwhile, World of Poetry has drawn the attention of both the district attorney's office of Sacramento County, where the company is based, and the local postal inspector. Both are making inquiries.

Said Deputy Dist. Atty. Justin Puerta: "Basically, what this industry is working off--and there's no law against it--is vanity. What we have a difficulty with is the elderly or disabled who call in and say, "I've won this award, and I thought I was the only one. I had the local church raising money, and then I found out I wasn't the sole winner.' They're put in an embarrassing situation and feel disgruntled." The same thing happens, he said, with that other vast group of poets: teens.

The letter received by Tony Tribble begins like this:

"Dear Golden Poet:

"I am so excited to tell you the good news!

"World of Poetry's Board of Directors has voted unanimously to honor you with our Golden Poet Award for 1989, in recognition of your poem 'The Grapes of Birth.' . . . The Golden Poet Award is to poets what the Academy Award is to actors."

That last sentence, Puerta added, also tends to imply that the recipient is one of a small number. As Tribble said: "I thought maybe like a handful of people had won. . . . But if you've got as many rejection slips as I do, you know you're not that great."

Others winners interviewed--both those planning to attend the convention and those who were not--exhibited a range of feelings.

Quest for Notoriety

"My reason for coming is to help spread the gospel," said Wilma Ficklin of Las Vegas. "My expectation is that possibly there are quite a few Golden Poet awards. What I am seeking is just a little bit of notoriety, just a little bit of recognition from the world."

Marie Wendling, a California resident, had been intending to come, but changed her mind. "Am I going to spend about $1,000 for a piece of paper? No." Furthermore, the 84-year-old retirement-home resident said, "I don't go out much. Except to bet on Lotto."

Her poem must have been among the shorter winners. It reads:

He didn't walk the path of gold

Just stumbled through the lead

Now carried to his grave site

For he is stone-cold dead.

Mary Zangare, the Las Vegan who had thought there were only 12 Golden Poet awards, said: "I want to meet other people, and I want to pass the word around about child abuse," the subject of her winning poem.

If she's never attended an event like this before, she's sent her poetry to, as she says, "all the greats.

"I wrote for Elvis' father, Karen Carpenter's parents, Betty White when her dog Stormy died. Liberace--when he was living. And the president of Korea. And John Wayne sent me his last note before he died. I've just written one now for Willie Nelson. He just doesn't know it."
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Unread 01-17-2019, 04:38 PM
R. S. Gwynn's Avatar
R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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A longer version of the above:
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Unread 01-17-2019, 08:39 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 6,249

[CAUTION: The following is yet another demonstration of me missing the point again. Apologies to everyone, especially Sam, for wasting their time. I'll leave it for the entertainment of anyone who enjoys laughing at bad posts as much as laughing at bad poetry.]

Wait, what? It's hard for me to see the connection here, Sam.

The thirty-year-old article you posted discusses a vanity press that was charging nave poets exorbitant sums of money for copies of not-very-selective anthologies containing their work, and for registration at conferences at which they could collect certificates for bogus poetry awards. For-profit enterprises that exploit beginners' hopes like that are clearly unscrupulous, and warning other poets about them is a public service. (Although dredging up an article dated 1989 might not be the best way to connote that the existence of such scams is a Major Societal Issue today.)

In contrast, Poetizer publishes poems not-very-selectively for free, on the Internet. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, poets no longer have to pay for the privilege of getting their sophomoric efforts in front of an international audience. In fact, unless Poetizer is doing something nefarious with the data they harvest from participants, I don't see any money being exchanged in this scenario at all. (Then again, maybe their true business model is to wait long enough to collect exorbitant sums from poets desperate to suppress the juvenilia they are so gleefully publishing on Poetizer today.)

People who enjoy laughing at bad poetry and feeling superior to ambitious teenagers should rejoice that they don't have to purchase horrible anthologies from the likes of World of Poetry in order to do that on a grand scale anymore.

But for those hardcore masochists who want not only to suffer through poetry they don't like, but also to pay good money for doing so, X.J. Kennedy et al. have edited Pegasus Descending: A Book of the Best Bad Verse, and there's also The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse.

Wouldn't spending time with good poetry be more fun, though?

[Edited to add: Despite the amount of time I've clearly spent thinking about this, I don't really care all that much. And I have a pot/kettle problem if, instead of spending time with good poetry myself, I am getting into curmudgeonly arguments with my friends in General Talk. Seriously, though, it's delightful to have Eratosphere back again so I can make a moralizing ass of myself again.]

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 01-21-2019 at 12:50 AM.
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Unread 01-17-2019, 11:15 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Staffordshire, England
Posts: 3,345

I worry sometimes I come across as a kind of inverted snob because I feel I'm forever waving my non-academia/non-pobiz credentials around. But it's true. I was actually on one of these things for a few months before desperate googling led me to discover the Sphere. Some of my early Sphere poems went on there. Wasn't Poetizer, but of a similar ilk. I joined through utter lack, or at least knowledge, of any other outlet, when poetry hit me out of the blue at the ripe old age of 43. 90% of the poetry was awful, and it was full of teenagers, but there were two or three who were really pretty good. I got talking via the comments to a young woman in Flint, Michigan who managed a fast-food restaurant. Her free-verse poetry was genuinely incredible, not emotional immature venting but controlled and strange and unique. But, like me at the time, she had no expectations of, or knowledge about, actually publishing. I imagine she probably never will.

True story. There are Emily Dickinsons out there. Not many maybe, but...

Nemo - post #14. Excellent!
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Unread 01-18-2019, 09:59 AM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Posts: 4,640

I loved you, o Stuffed Owl.

[Song link—with new-fangled typo—removed.]

Last edited by Allen Tice; 01-19-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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