Saturday, September 04, 2010

I know it's Saturday, but I'm still going to post (Friday's Sunday's Poem/Hot Actress 61)

Life Is Fine
Langston Hughes

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love--
But for livin' I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry--
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

About the poem: My poetry submission to The New Yorker got rejected this week, so I did two things. First, I wrote a poem about that and submitted it to The New Yorker to see what they'd say, then I went in search of poems about poetry being rejected.

I didn't find any such poems -- do all other would-be poets deal with rejection in a forthright and positive way? -- but I did find a site that will (maybe) publish your (and my?) rejected poems, so riches and fame may still be in the wings for me. (All poets become rich and famous, right?)

I also then found out that Langston Hughes got rejected a bunch of times, and I've always liked this poem (which I suspect was in part the inspiration for The White Stripes' "I'm Lonely (But I'm Not That Lonely Yet)"), so I posted it.

About the Hot Actress: It's no hot actress at all. It's supposedly Emily Dickinson, who I picked out because my rejected poem was about why Emily Dickinson used those hyphens all the time.

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