Marching Along…

I have declared March the month of revision.  I have yet to draft a new poem thus far this month, but have revised eight (eight!) others and have sent them off to (hopefully!) find new homes.  I really want to reach my goal of submitting to ten journals this month, and I feel like I have a good start. 

…And speaking of revision.  Yesterday, I received a rejection note in my inbox.  Now, like many of my readers, I’m rather used to the form rejection, but I have to admit that I never know quite what to do with rejections that comment on the strengths of my poems.  This comment basically said that they liked the energy and images found in two of my poems, but after rigorous review (a paraphrase of the note), the editorial staff  decided that the work was not right for their particular issue.

Now both poems have been rejected before, and one has even been rejected with comments before.  So, do I go back and revise these poems?  If I do, there is a chance that I could revise myself out of a good poem. Should I just send them off again as is?

Sometimes, revising itself isn’t the hardest part.  Sometimes, deciding what to revise and when is worse.


  1. No, don’t revise again! It sounds like the editors knew they were good poems but had to pass for any number of reasons: the other poems in the issue were radically different, the tone didn’t match, etc. It may have nothing to do at all with the quality of the poems themselves. In fact, that’s likely why you got ink on that particular rejection.

  2. Karen Said:

    I took your advice, Christine. I sent both poems (as is..) off this morning!

  3. Yay! 🙂

  4. Justin Hamm Said:

    I try not to revise until I’ve heard back from all the places I’ve sent a particular set of poems. This forces me to wait for a *consensus* opinion on them, and also helps me avoid the uncomfortable position of having revised a poem now scheduled to appear in an earlier incarnation (because I usually talk myself out of thinking that earlier incarnation was any good).

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