Time to Shine in Poetry!

Do you love poetry?  I do.  One thing I will never understand is why poetry doesn’t sell–at least that’s what publishers tell us.  I’ve only ever sold one poem for money and that was a sweet little poem for children that sold to Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. Magazine.  (To find out how to submit articles to Focus magazines, buy or borrow from the library a copy of the 2012 Christian Writers Market Guide). 

I can’t help but think of Mark Ettinger, who submitted a blog a couple months ago.  Mark writes poetry in his sleep!  And I think Larry’s tried his hand at it as well and I KNOW Jean, Latinya, Julia, and Billie Jo have written poetry.  Of course, we have a number of quiet friends who read the Cross Blog but haven’t commented yet.  (Like my mom who also writes poetry). You may be the hidden poet we’ve not heard from yet.  

As you can imagine, I’m tempted to start a poetry blog!  In fact, I just rented from the library a book by the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, Mary Oliver, titled A Poetry Handbook, a Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry.  And of course I had to rent out her poems in one of her collections titled Red Bird.  (It looks like somebody beat the “you can’t sell poetry” mantra and showed us all.)

Well, for all you poetry lovers I want to pass on the news that there is a poetry contest coming up.  There is a $15 fee to enter and entries must be postmarked by April 30, 2012.  I am not connected to these folks in any way, but I trust they’re a reliable group because I heard about them through my membership (free if you buy the 2012 Writers Market Deluxe Edition) to Writers Digest online.  Interested?  Please go to their website and get all the details.  (Hope only knows what is on this website link!)  Maybe it’s your time to shine in poetry!  Here’s the info: 

Tebot Bach announces  The 2012 Clockwise Chapbook Competition  http://www.tebotbach.org/clockwise.html 

Oh!  Here’s the poem that sold to Clubhouse Jr.

Washaway, washaway,

Down comes the rain.

Pitter patter, pitter patter,

On the window pane.


Little sister runs to hide

When thunder rumbles low

Little sister, little sister,

Where did you go?


BABOOM goes the thunder

And the lightning cracks the sky.

It’s all wet out there today,

We’ll have to play inside!


You guessed it.  It’s supposed to rain “in my neck of the woods” today.

Happy Tuesday!



About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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6 Responses to Time to Shine in Poetry!

  1. Thanks for the compliment Hope. How pertinent, that just this morning when I woke up, I was thinking about if poetry sells – then I read your post. I tried to sell poetry almost exactly twenty
    years ago. I printed about one thousand copies of poetry to sell at an art show – paid for the space and actually sold two of them. I kept them in my cellar until I moved three years ago and
    introduced them to Waste Management, keeping one of each for the record books. I focused more on song writing or being a Psalmist, if you will. Some people call them poetry, though I love it when people tell me it’s a song and they can feel the music in the words that they read.
    Poetry is such a broad genre. Some poetry that I read, I don’t have a clue what they are talking about. The point is – the writer does. That’s what poetry is.
    Maybe that’s why there isn’t a big market for poetry, because it can be self-centered.
    It’s a rhythm and rhyme in your heart, that you try to put on paper. Judging poetry is really a hard thing, as you are judging someone’s heart. More often than not, reaching the reader is more important than acknowledging the writer. I guess that’s where anonymous writers came from.
    Their concern is for the reader, rather than the writer.
    I hope that my writing is touching someone’s life and I pray that the Lord helps me to reach the multitudes with the inspiration that he gives me. Blessings to you, Hope.


  2. David says:

    I’ve never been one for poetry. I can easily list what I’ve enjoyed:
    I guess I have to mention Shakespeare because I enjoy his plays and they are written in poetic form, “The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner,” some of Frost’s poems, and “High Flight.” I also enjoy many of Amy Carmichael’s poems and have acomplete collection of them. And that pretty well covers it. Poetry used to be popular a century or more ago. I really don’t know why it’s not now. The way it’s taught, or maybe not taught, in school?


  3. David, you’ve named some incredible poetry and poets for one who has “never been one for poetry”. I feel a little sheepish here. I’ve not explored Amy Carmichael’s poems. Love Robert Louis Stevenson and today’s Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. As you may have guessed, I enjoy children’s poems above all other types. “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson is my favorite. Rolls off your tongue and into your imagination. I had to memorize that in lower elementary school. I’m not sure why it’s not as strong today. I hope you have a favorite poem or song on the cross that you can send me. Stay tuned!


    • David says:

      But I’ve only mentioned five poets out of millions that are out there.

      A favorite that I mentioned is “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., who was an American in the Royal Canadian Air Force fighting the Germans in England before we entered the war. If I remember correctly his plane was involved in a collision with another that was in training.

      High Flight

      Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
      And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
      Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
      Of sun-split clouds—and done a hundred things
      You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
      High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
      I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
      My eager craft through footless halls of air.
      Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
      I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
      Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
      And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
      The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
      Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


  4. David, I’m in awe. Honestly. You are so humble yet you share such treasures here. You said, “But I’ve only mentioned five poets out of millions that are out there.” It reminds me of King Solomon’s Ecclesiastical observation: “The writing of books is endless.” Yet each one of us is born of God, created by God, to do something unique, something special, a gift while on the earth and a gift left behind when we fly away. I think of this poet, John Gillespie Magee, Jr., who flew while on the earth and finally “slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings” and “touched the face of God” in clouds of the third heaven, where God looks down on airplanes, ships, and cars.

    I don’t want to be lengthy, but I want to share that I picked up an antique children’s book at the library yesterday on the life of John James Audubon. His father was a burly French sea captain who loved the life God gave him to live on the sea, in adventures, and in war. He led ships and seamen, but he saw his son was born for a different course, and wisely released John to move from France to Grove Mill, Pennsylvania, where John Audubon was elated and inspired by a fresh gathering of American birds to draw, document, and research. John Audubon had no idea he’d impact the following two centuries with his abandoned joys, but he pursued that which he was born to do, as small as it seemed, and his discoveries still impact the earth today. And you bring us another John, a man who somehow caught his ecstacy in flight onto paper and sent it out to earthlings before he took his last flight skyward and touched the face of God. Again, I’m in awe.


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