Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Mary Oliver, Aldrich Poetry Competition

Last year I had decided to enter some poetry contests. At the time I thought this would be better than publication because of the prize money. Ha. Entering contests is a very hard way to go. First, it is expensive, especially as a Canadian. The contest fee, the postage and the internationalreply coupon for the sase. I entered two contests and it came to $51.00. How vain is that? I did not hear from either, and I had to keep the poems wrapped up for months.

There are hundreds of contests available if anyone is interested. On the website Poets & Writers, you can click on their magazine and then on CLASSIFIEDS in the left menu. A fantastic resource.

Speaking of fantastic resource, I took an online course called To Market To Market, taught by Scott Wiggerman. It cost about $25 and has a lot of great information, suggestions and tips. If you want to know more, email me, Ill send you the URL etc.

The Aldrich Poetry Competition was judged this year by Mary Oliver
She is one of my champions. Her poetry is phenomenal. Im going to paste one of them below in this post. I was thrilled to think that Mary Oliver would actually be reading my poetry. It was worth the contest entry in my mind. Is that weird? The contest required 15 poems. I guess it was a ChapBook contest, I didn't note that anywhere. I also didn't jot down the dates, something I will be donig from now on. However, it was last fall, I know the contest is done now.

I titled the work LIKE A TIGER. These are the poems I sent

Listen -
Still Fingers
Geese Shadows
From the Mirror
Home Again
What if its Endless
Life Pulls My Head Low
Love Falling
A Breathing House
The Hummingbird
On the Green Days
Like A Tiger


A Visitor
by Mary Oliver

My father, for example,
who was young once
and blue-eyed,
on the darkest of nights
to the porch and knocks
wildly at the door,
and if I answer
I must be prepared
for his waxy face,
for his lower lip
swollen with bitterness.
And so, for a long time,
I did not answer,
but slept fitfully
between his hours of rapping.
But finally there came the night
when I rose out of my sheets
and stumbled down the hall.
The door fell open

and I knew I was saved
and could bear him,
pathetic and hollow,
with even the least of his dreams
frozen inside him,
and the meanness gone.
And I greeted him and asked him
into the house,
and lit the lamp,
and looked into his blank eyes
in which at last
I saw what a child must love,
I saw what love might have done
had we loved in time.


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