Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rejection: Haruah Breath of Heaven

So I was hoping to hear back on any of my submissions today and I did. It's a rejection but it was the best rejection ever!!! LOL See:

Greetings: Thank you for your submission of "The Rough Side" to Haruah: Breath of Heaven. We regret to inform you that we cannot use your submission at this time.

This response to you is automatically generated. However, it has been and continues to be our practice to share with our contributors parts of the discussion about their works that might help clarify our decision. What follows is/are excerpted from the editorial team's discussion. Each team member's remarks are separated by a row of asterisks. Also, following the last excerpt, there may be additional comments from the team member processing this correspondence.

Specific remarks about your submission:
*****I like what the poet is saying. Just needs a bit of work to pull it together.
*****The two lines about 'dying memories of those girls who used to sing' confused me at first and I had to read it a couple of times to gather the meaning. The image of 'girls dying' made no sense in the context of 'mothers giving birth' to a love of music in their children. Perhaps making clear that this is something that happens only when the women have grown old would have helped.
*****The uneven nature of the piece seems to come from where the lines are broken. IMO, line breaks can be used to separate ideas, to emphasize phrases, or to reveal layers of meaning. For example, I thought this worked well: "the way all of the women she birthed wrapped their arms around a melody first;" As a single sentence, the emphasis falls on "birthed", but breaking the line gives added emphasis to "melody". But in these three lines, the phrases get scattered, and I had troubling keeping a coherent thought. "cradled the song against the softness of their bosoms, infused it with the rhythm of their heartbeats; nurtured it like a newborn child," *****

That was a pretty great critique and I'm so glad that they took the time (35 days isn't bad) to respond and so thoroughly. I'm actually a little touched. I recommend others submit here definitely. They have actually given me energy for the process of revising this poem.

So this is what it is to be a writer. I can handle this.

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