Thursday, March 23, 2006

Poetry Thursday

"Remember that a kick in the ass is a step forward."

I'm putting two entries into Poetry Thursday today. I'm feeling rather discombobulated this morning as despite my furious believing in it, my manuscript received it's first rejection letter. (The blow was softened somewhat by my parents each getting on an extension when they called to tell me about it (they're my Canadian contact.) It was very sweet of them.) Last night I felt sorry for myself and my precious book. Today I'm letting myself feel a little sad before I kick start the whole process again. (Why does that process have to be SO HARD?! I mean, it's harder than writing the bloody book!) So today this first poem is me going back to basics - to a children's poetry writer I love. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Bridge

This bridge will only take you halfway there

To those mysterious lands you long to see
Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fairs
And moonlit woods where unicorns run free.
So come and walk awhile with me and share
the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I've known.
But this bridge will only take you halfway there -
The last few steps you'll have to take alone.

-Shel Silverstein

I have just spent an amazing hour meeting a poet. I cannot say enough about how much I love this woman's poetry. I wonder how I missed her in my university years? I suppose once again it was
my angel-book-therapist who held her back from me until I was ready for her. Now that I am, I have been reeling with recognition.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

(P.S. Tara Dawn is starting a Creativity Exchange - it looks like it could be really inspiring!!)


Cate said...


You said it, sister: the process of getting something published is harder than writing the damn thing to begin with. WHY?! Why, why, why? Just remember, Megg--YOU have written a book! How many people can say that? You are already successful.

THAT opportunity was NOT the right one--it knew that and it was just stepping aside gracefully to allow the correct opportunity to sashay (or swagger) into place!

Hugs to you as you digest this and step forward. There must be courage and pride even in the midst of the disappointment of this situation--you have obviously been bravely taking the last steps that Mr. Silverstein so eloquently referred to!

M said...

I too have just discovered Mary Oliver, mostly through other people's posts. Isn't she fabulous!!? Sorry about your book, but its not over yet! Go get em. Good luck and I am sending you positive vibes!!

Laini Taylor said...

Oh Meg, I'm so sorry to hear it! I'm so hopeful for your book! I know we will grow from being a community of writers to a community of published writers -- I have no doubt, as long as we all KEEP AT IT. I so firmly believe the perseverance is the thing that separates the published from the unpublished (that and luck, but as we all know, we make our luck, help it along, by... perseverance!) Was this the contest? Oh, how I wish you could come to SCBWI conferences. They're such a great and inspiring way of pursuing this dream. I notice in the new SCBWI bulletin that there is an event in London on May 25, and that an editor from Penguin will be there. I can give you more info if you want it. Chin up!
(And I LOVE that Mary Oliver poem. Gorgeous!)

Jamie said...

I'm sure your book is waiting for the perfect partner, someone who will love her and believe in her as much as you do :)

And the Mary Oliver poem is one of my very favourites. The first stanza is so healing for me. Thank you for sharing it today.

Bohemian Girl said...

big warm hug.

we're all here for you. don't keep it in.

i totally agree with Laini about perseverance...which i KNOW you have but just keep nurturing that.

we're your cheerleaders. keep going beautiful~writer~you!!

Living Part Deux said...

I'm right here in the cheering section with Lainie and Cate and all your other reader. Shedding of tears is part of the process, it seems, but there are so many people waiting to read your book. Remember them - us! I'm sending hugs too, and adding to the confidence that has already been expressed. You are great!

la vie en rose said...

two excellent choices. so sorry to hear about your precious book. keep putting it out there! ;>

gkgirl said...

sorry about the book...
that would be hard.

great poem choices
and thanks for leaving a comment
about mine...
glad i could give you a little
of home

and what a great idea about
the creativity exchange...
thanks for the heads-up

Anonymous said...

Megg, just the writing of the book is amazing (says the one who is still struggling with it). There are SO MANY reasons why publishers reject a work, and a lot of them have ZERO to do with the work's merit. It's all about waiting until you find a house and an editor who will believe as furiously and passionately in the work as you do.

I know whereof I speak--this was my industry.

The poem is beautiful...I'd actually never read Mary Oliver until I started reading these blogs. I love her work.

Thanks for the creativity exchange info.

Your work is worthy--stay and stay and stay with it.

tara dawn said...

Meg - I know I have not read your book, but I read your words here every day. Your passion seeps from my screen, the vibrancy of your words bring me to both laughter and tears. These are the qualities that make a writer a legend...and these are the qualities that make you an incredible writer, my dear friend. I know that now must be so difficult, but I also know that you are incredibly strong and have a determination that will propel you to future successes. Stand tall, be proud of yourself, and know that we are all here, cheering you on, and having full confidence in YOU!
I am so glad that you have found Mary Oliver...her poetry is music to my soul. I actually posted a poem by her today as well:)
And thank you for the link to my creativity exchange. I am eager to get emails from all so that I may start composing a list to send out to everyone. I truly believe this will be inspiring and nurturing for us all.
I am sending lots of love and healing, comforting hugs!!
If you ever need a reminder of your beauty and your know who to call:)

liz elayne said...

oh i wish i could bring over a nice pot of tea and give you a hug and settle in for nice long chat. i am thinking about you my dear.
this poems are wondrous...thank you for posting them. as always, you somehow know just what i need to read. (and i can never read mary oliver enough.)

Sky said...


you said it - keep on keeping on. that is the answer. what is not chosen by one is a treasure to another. it is a tough business - the rejections. just keep your eye on the goal and your heart comforted by your love of the work.

great poem choices - and 2!! thanks so much for both. mary oliver is fabulous always, and i especially enjoyed silverstein's important message.

Connie and Rob said...

Hang in there. Sending you lots of encouragement to not give up. I am sure everything will work out with your manuscript.

Lovely poems.


Karen said...

Meg- I absolutely love that poem. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. xo