For the Love of It*

Emily Dickinson wrote for the love of it.
Before she died, she didn’t publish much of it
as countless, now famous, others didn’t publish much of it.
Walt Whitman wrote for the love of it
and thought so much of it
that he self-published it.
Ezra Pound wrote for the love of it
and thought so much of it
that he, too, self-published it.
So many poets self-publish it,
because they think so much of it.
Publishers don’t like publishing it,
because they can’t make a profit off of it.
People don’t read much of it
and buy even less of it.
So poets become publishers to publish it.
It sounds like others publish it
but poets self-publish a lot of it
and help other poets with publishing it.
You do what you gotta do
to get the message through
for nothing other than the love of it.
Do it for the love of it,
and let others decide on the fate of it.

*People ask me if I am self-published, often in a sort of snooty,
sort of condescending way. I realize that to get a book of poetry
published by a publishing house would take years and years and,
honestly, at my age, I don’t have all that much time. I would have
to get poems published in journals galore before any publishing firm
would even take a fleeting glance at me. I published about twenty-five
articles the traditional way of going through editors of magazines
and journals but now I tell people that I have a boutique, poetry book
publisher in Phoenix, Arizona. It just so happens that the name of
the company is Dahl Design Studio, which is owned by my daughter,
my colleague and collaborator on our first two books and on the
third which is scheduled for publication around the end of the year.
By the way, 75% of all books published today are self-published
(including all the poetry books no publishing house wants to publish).
I keep thinking of the old Greek proverb which I don’t know in Greek,
even though I studied it in seminary, which goes something like,
“Do it for the love of it and let others decide on the fate of it.”
Yeah, I just made that up.

1 thought on “For the Love of It*

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