Thursday, October 04, 2012

Election Madness + Poetry/All the News You Need

Election Madness has seized us again, with the first of the debates between candidates for president. Do we really think any one person in any one office can make a very big difference in our lives? The entire system of our democracy, with its checks and balances, is designed to prevent it. True, there has been an alarming power grab at the top in the last few decades. It created deep divisions in our country. It's the worst of time in America in many ways. But also the best: the Internet is creating a unified world, melding East and West in ways unthinkable only a few years ago. Medical advances increase health and wealth that is spreading around the globe. Where is power? No one understands, least of all those who think they wield it. That's the first humbling lesson someone who steps into the Oval Office learns. They all talk about it and pray about it.

Poetry is, by contrast, a deeper and longer lasting power to touch, change, and heal us. Few word of presidents are quoted as often as Rumi, Emily Dickinson, Whitman, or Shakespeare.

I'm getting all the news I need through election day from those sources, and tuning in only occasionally to the bogus news. The news that doesn't stay news. I wouldn't be a journalist today.

Here's a useful site, if you want to evaluate what kinds of rejections you're getting and what they really mean. Rejection Wiki can show you samples of standard or personal rejections notes from 100+ literary journals. Read, contribute your own rejection notices to expand the knowledge base.