It’s so strange which work gets accepted where.  A poem that got kicked out of every magazine so that it had crawled into a corner whimpering with shame suddenly got a reprieve last week and by a prestigious magazine I’ve been stalking for years.

Thereby proving yet again how subjective poetry is.  Often a poem is rejected not because it is poorly written but the subject matter doesn’t chime with the editor. 

When I’m reviewing I’m careful not to decry work simply because the subject may not resonate. When this happens I focus on the technical ability which is often very accomplished.

Having said this I’ve noticed that there seems to be no standard amongst editors regarding technique. The above mentioned poem has had its style criticised too which is why I consigned it to the corner of shame. Now it seems an editor feels it is fine; very confusing.

If I’m honest I don’t feel in a position to challenge a well respected poet’s technical ability.  Largely because I can see when it is obviously superior to my own work. Yet if I had more courage I could argue that part of the reason these poems don’t speak to me is that I find the language rather dry despite its technical perfection. I can often tell when the poet has an MA in creative writing because there seems to be a universal house style that is very contained. I prefer wilder, freer poems.

So the up shot of my ramblings is to never quite discount a poem even if it means working on it a bit more.  And a dare to me to start commenting on poems whose technical ability doesn’t take my fancy.