If your poetry was not selected for publication on the homepage of the Society there are a few common reasons (although no rules are absolute):

-Your poetry does not rhyme (or have consistent alliteration). Rhyme is not absolutely necessary and not every line has to rhyme or be a perfect full rhyme. But, if it doesn’t there should be a good reason. For example, you must be communicating a very clear, dense, and flowing train of thought like that of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. An additional problem is that your poetry does rhyme but you are stretching the meaning to match the rhyme too much: “There came a big angry dog / he was vicious and named Rog.” If you have no other reason for calling the dog “Rog” than because it rhymes with “dog” then this is bad rhyming poetry, or doggerel, incidentally. Of course, doggerel can be used effectively for humorous effect.

-Your poetry does not have a standard meter. There should be a common number of stresses or a common number of syllables per line, per two lines, or per stanza. There should be some kind of clear form. We do not want free verse. We do accept free verse from time to time if we feel the meaning is truly compelling and worthwhile. More on metered poetry can be found in Level 4 here.

-A lot of poetry today seems to wallow in obscurity and purposely try to be abstruse. We want clarity. A non-academic and non-poet should be able to pick it up and enjoy it. We want good themes like those listed on our submissions page. We want virtue over vice, epic over ephemeral, and beauty over baseness.



Featured Image: “Six Tuscan Poets” by Giorgi Vasari

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