Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Good Week: In which a poet gets compliments

Compliments may well be business as usual for many poets. Certainly it is a rare poet who receives none.

Well. In the past week I've received several compliments. Readers I don't know and who are not necessarily poets are saying nice things about my work.
I know this sounds like--and is--bragging, but I beg you to recast this blog as me sharing a good feeling with you. I'm not sure what the feeling is, but joy works, so let's go with that. Every day this week I've felt joy because a reader liked my work.

One generous woman even went so far as to tweet the URL to one of my poems published online ("St. Sarah Sarai Carrying the Infant Christ Child" -- pub. by The Mississippi Review). Tweet, as in Twitter so fellow Twitterers could read me. She said something about the poem's beauty.

I couldn't have felt more gratified if it had been flashed on a Times Square giganto neon signs. The very thing that can scare me--lack of control--works for me. I didn't ask her to read me. I don't know how she found me. But she did.

Oh! I went to see a young friend read at the Cornelia St. Cafe. The curator of all poetry events there spotted me sipping wine and told me he had to book me. I asked if he was sure he knew it was me he was talking to and he seemed to. We set a date in November.

Just before deciding to share all this on my blog I looked at Amazon and saw a second customer review of The Future Is Happy. An appreciative review. How exciting! I'm not going to peek at the number of reviews someone like Mark Doty or Marie Ponsot or any number of established poets get. I'll just reiterate I'm new and not academically affiliated. And people I don't know--or aren't my bff--like my work. A few do, anyway.

My great wish is to be read by people. People. Poets, sure, but also that rare breed who reads poetry for pleasure.

Tomorrow I have to get up early for a follow-up doctor's appointment, send out resumes, follow-up previously sent-out resumes with phone calls, in some way or other, drum up work. Tonight I'm a poet who knows the time she puts into writing is not unappreciated, which is to say, is appreciated.


Image From Heinrich Khunrath Work: Amhitheatrum Sapientae Aeternae Date: 1606


  1. Sarah,
    I was immediately persuaded to leave a comment here, since that was part of the subject of this piece of writing.
    As a newcomer to this world of poetry/writing, I have been greatly encouraged by the feedback and comments left by those who have found my blog.
    However, it just took one acerbic comment, sent to me recently by email, to damage the positivity.
    Enjoy the compliments which your are worthy of and add mine to it as well!
    Best wishes, Eileen

  2. Eileen,
    Thanks for taking the time to add a comment here. I understand about your ("our") sensitivity to someone else's perspective. I wish I could say I'm oblivious to what others think but I'm not. I also wish I could say I don't have an acerbic tongue/pen myself at times, but I do. The amazement always is that somehow we keep writing. Keep writing.