Philippa Rees

The Market

Part 1. Mission Statement.

Poetry is solemn trade

So candle dark that we Company of Editors

hang back

Hoping that others will invest before we

venture capital

No mass without perambulation

Let’s wait to spear the sainted Bull

We’ll join the chorus in good time

to ride the rising tide of absolution

Don’t rush the responses

Our expertise is not for experiments

in dismal rhyme, or rhythms with a soul-beat

We like it ineffable; to leave room

for our perception and of course our long acquired acumen.

After all the authorised version’s by Yeats

If Auden sings descant, and I can’t nail Eliot

Take it as a signal of modesty.

The matter is subjective.

We have our rules:

New fishers of men must prove themselves

By taking bait on lines, elsewhere

Anything discarded we reject

Anything landed we won’t touch

Without the intercession of an intermediary

That protects our public

From the circling sharks;

The questionable authors.

They and the agents can follow the wake

Dive deep in shoals, for tossed out scraps.

Subscribe the children’s dinner money

For the prize we will award

To names that seem to ring a bell.

They are welcome to participate;

We are not a narrow faith;

Nor a monopoly

Merely discerning.

2. Guidelines

A word of advice

Do not attempt noble sentiment

Or perennial truth; we’ve had a belly-full of both.

Put it this way

Salieri can be passed off as a discovery

Mozart is more difficult.

Be younger than thirty; write pell-mell

Genius and Precocity partner well

Keep it as short as a sound-bite

The limited page; can’t argue with that

Avoid philosophy or expertise

What’s Greek about the Peloponnese?

Even Pythagoras found thinking a bore

Go with the flow, but stop it spilling

Beyond the scrubbed pine to the cutting room floor

One thing is important:

Eschew beauty of tone

You’ll never be Keats; or rat-a-tat Owen...

Paint miniatures in detail; children sell

Scour the moon but Aga it well

The Lady of Shalott?  She had a nose, eyes and chin...rather

Make something of a chamber pot a la Tracey Emin.

Philippa Rees © 2008