We love your poem, and will gladly take your money.

December 24, 2007

As some of you may know, I occasionally write poetry, and the reason I have not published any on my blog is because I don’t trust you people enough. Ha.  I will make one exception though, as this poem is good enough to be published in ‘Immortal Verses.’

Oh yeah, I’m going to be published.  …

Now here’s the story.  I am interested in entering my poetry in contests to see if I can make any money on them, but I am more interested in keeping the copyrights, and some contests take the copyright to the entrant’s poem.  So, actually, I haven’t entered any poetry contests…yet.  One day I was wasting time online and I came across poetry.com which advertised a poetry contest. First, I wanted to figure out if they would let me keep my copyright and I couldn’t find that information solidly enough to please myself. So, being the trusting soul I am, I wanted to find the poem I least liked and didn’t care if anyone stole (but doubted they would steal it) and enter it into the contest to see if I would keep the copyright.  Then I realized I was on the computer that I didn’t store any of my poems on.  Ok, plan B.  Write a poem that is the minimum word count and submit it.  Did I?  Yes, I did.  It was awful, bad poem….

Untitled (cause I didn’t have time to think of a title.)

crying for tomorrow
waiting for the perfect light to come
life is only worth living
if there is hope for tomorrow’s sun
begging for new sight
while everyone else struggles on in darkness
simpering smiles and flirtations
are not eat and drink enough
crawling to the dawn
our life’s breath is just not enough
we need heavenly aid
if we are to find our true life

See what I mean? Ugh, it comes just a bit too close to ‘death and doom’ poetry for me. But, you’d be proud of me, I didn’t edit it at all before putting it in this post…even though I wanted to so badly.

So I clicked submit and forgot all about it.

Until, a couple weeks later, a letter came in the mail for me from poetry.com. It opened with:

Dear Devin,
After carefully reading and discussing your poem, our Selection Committee has certified your poem as a semi-finalist in our International Open Poetry Contest.

Say WHAT?! And you actually read the poem!?

To paraphrase, the letter continued…

You can win a lot of money. You may even have a chance to win more money. Imagine your poem featured on a page by itself surrounded with a bunch of other bum poems in a book called ‘Immortal Verses’!! You have no obligation whatsoever to buy the book…but we higly reccomend it (because it’s 50 bucks) and is the only way we make money here.

Oh, I can’t parahrase this:
Your poem was selected for publication, and as a contest semi-finalist, on the basis of your unique talent and artistic vision. You are under no obligation to submit any entry fee or make any purchase.

Please buy the book that displays your personal artistry!

Oh, I got a kick out of this: [regarding the option of entering personal information for a bit of a bio next to your poem]

You must also decide if you would like to have some personal information about yourself and your poetry included in this elegant edition. You are welcome to include your motivations [to find out if you people steal my copyright], the meaning poerty has in your life, the story behind your poem [read this blog post], or your personal philosophical point of view [aaaahahaha]. Your bio will be printed on a page by itself, directly across from your poem–you will thus have two full pages in the book devoted exclusivly to you and your artistry [and your ego!].

In the meantime, our design department has already begun working on a distinctive layout [*cough cough*] for the page that will be devoted to your poem.

P.S. Devin, you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. [oh, I am. Believe me.] Of the thousands of poems we read each year, only a fraction can be published […in one book].

I knew this had to be a scam, but at first I did wonder how they made their money. My suspicions were confirmed when Mr. L., my writing instructor, started to laugh when I asked, “Do you know anything about poetry.com?”

He proceeded to tell me that everyone who enters the contest is a ‘semi-finalist’ and has his or her poem published. He also told me that he has a multitude of poems in books similar to ‘Immortal Verses’ (because it’s fun to say your poem is in the book) and that the whole thing is only a scam if you buy ($) into it. He also said not to enter anything good into the contest (*pats self on the back*).

So, in the end I’m glad I entered the poem because it has afforded me many laughs, more knowledge, and a blog post! …also a full inbox, those poetry.com people keep sending me more and more emails telling me of more ‘awards’ I have ‘acheived’ that I only have to pay $50-$100 to recieve!

…and don’t even think about stealing that poem—it’s copyrighted.


4 Responses to “We love your poem, and will gladly take your money.”

  1. Aisa Says:

    PAHAHAHA. say, wha??! xD

  2. amen sister! poetry.com told me the same thing years ago. totally bogus. you did good not to fall for this lame scam to get your money.

    i think if you have to pay a fee or something to get published, it doesn’t really count.

    and you are a writer, whether or not, you are published yet.

    and i enjoyed your post and your humor that came through loud and clear.

    happy friday, kathleen

  3. Splendor Says:

    Aisa: 😀

    Kathleen: First, thank you so much for commenting! And second…I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt this way about the scam. …and, i’m glad that the humor came out the way it was supposed to. 😀

  4. you’re welcome 🙂

    glad to see you didn’t fall for it.

    g’day, kathleen 🙂

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