Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Rejection from Robert Bly

In browsing through my books I found this rejection slip from Robert Bly. Even after some forty years it seems to me the most thoughtful and intelligent one I have ever received.

It reads: Dear Wm. Doreski, These don’t have the interior space that the short poem needs. They are written more with the prose intelligence—not enough senses in the language—than with the intuitive or animal intelligence. Don’t know if this makes sense to you or not. Yours Robert Bly.

This still seems to me a highly perceptive statement about poetry in general, and illuminates not only Bly's better poems but the work of the poets he has admired: Transtromer, Neruda, Vallejo, etc.

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