Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

First Rejection by Edward O’Dwyer

The envelope came today,
my first rejection
of poems submitted
to an esteemed literary journal;
and looking over the sparse few words
the busy editor
took the time to write
(almost illegibly)
I can’t help suddenly thinking
back to that very first girl
who didn’t want to go to the pictures;
who’d made other plans
she couldn’t get out of;
who was booked up all week
despite my own gymnastic flexibility;
she who taught me
the crush in the subtler signs
of complete and utter disinterest –
signs in words such as
“thoughtful and intriguing
but in need of a little more craft.”
Nor can I help remembering now
those advices
of so many well-meaning friends;
their words of consolation.
“She isn’t worth your time, mate.”
“She’s a bit of a cow anyway.”
None of which helped then,
they help nothing now either –
another letter or an email,
a change of mind,
a reconsideration,
note of a preferred poem
having being withdrawn even,
still I’d leap at the chance
to get my piece
between its illustrious pages.


One thought on “First Rejection by Edward O’Dwyer

  1. Edward O’Dwyer (b. 1984 in Limerick, Ireland) has been published widely in journals and anthologies throughout Ireland, Britain, North America and Australia. In 2010 and he was selected by Poetry Ireland for their Introductions Series and edited Sextet for Revival Press. Since then he has been shortlisted for poetry prizes such as the Hennessy Award, the Pushcart Prize and the Desmond O’Grady Award. Most recently he represented Ireland at the Poesiefestival in Berlin for their European ‘renshi’ project. His first full collection, A Love Poem Mostly For You, is forthcoming from Salmon Press.

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