Poetry Wednesday: Mediocrity in Rejection

I received this poem a couple days ago with this note:

This is for all of us who’ve queried a manuscript, submitted an article proposal, auditioned for a role, sent art to a jury, or picked up a microphone and had to wait for a verdict.

Mediocrity in Love Rejected
(Thomas Carew)

Give me more love or more disdain;
The torrid, or the frozen zone,
Bring equal ease unto my pain;
The temperate affords me none;
Either extreme, of love, or hate,
Is sweeter than a calm estate.

Give me a storm; if it be love,
Like Danae in that golden show’r
I swim in pleasure; if it prove
Disdain, that torrent will devour
My vulture-hopes; and he’s possess’d
Of heaven, that’s but from hell releas’d.

Then crown my joys, or cure my pain;
Give me more love, or more disdain.


4 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: Mediocrity in Rejection

  1. That’s the thing that drives me nuts about pitching picture books. Many publishers don’t even bother to reply to your query if they aren’t interested. No closure. I also have no idea if they even opened the envelope.

  2. There seems to be no end of books that multiple publishers rejected but eventually achieved million copy sales. For example, The Shack, rejected 23 times and published privately by two pastors, sold 18 million copies. Do these people really know anything about what the public will buy or are these success stories extremely rare?

    • I’m pretty sure that those multiply-rejected writers revised their novels several times before acceptance.

      As for the rarity of privately-published success . . . I think marketing and salesmanship has a lot to do with it.

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