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You are doomed if all you write is poetry.

The only people making money off of poetry are the descendants of the blue background.

Can anybody name one poet who made their living solely off of money from published poems?
Of course all I write is poetry -- poetry is all :p

That is not to say that I write exclusively poetry -- but I do insist that if you're going to consider a career as a professional writer in any genre you should give poetry a bash as a sideline, to sharpen your mind for prose of any kind.
.
Erthona asked: "Can anybody name one poet who made their living solely
off of money from published poems?"

Not since birth, but there are plenty that did it for most of their lives.
One who was particularly successful was Edgar Guest:


                  Peace

A man must earn his hour of peace,
Must pay for it with hours of strife and care,
Must win by toil the evening's sweet release,
The rest that may be portioned for his share;
The idler never knows it, never can.
Peace is the glory ever of a man.

A man must win contentment for his soul,
Must battle for it bravely day by day;
The peace he seeks is not a near-by goal;
To claim it he must tread a rugged way.
The shirker never knows a tranquil breast;
Peace but rewards the man who does his best.

                     - - -


(A cautionary tale for those of us who seek success as poets.)




The Australian poet Les Murray is another, he's been making a damned good living from the game for around 40 years.

Comete
by Les Murray

Uphill in Melbourne on a beautiful day
a woman is walking ahead of her hair.
Like teak oiled soft to fracture and sway
it hung to her heels and seconded her
as a pencilled retinue, an unscrolling title
to ploughland, edged with ripe rows of dress,
a sheathed wing that couldn't fly her at all,
only itself, loosely, and her spirits.

A largesse
of life and self, brushed all calm and out,
its abstracted attempts on her mouth weren't seen,
not its showering, its tenting. Just the detail
that swam in its flow-lines, glossing about -
as she paced on, comet-like, face to the sun.

(Subhuman Redneck Poems, 1996)
Make money from it? Piece of piss! Some people, like Heaney, may make more money than they need to to live, but that doess not mean they are not making enough from poetry alone, for a less luxurious life-style. Probably the same with the Poetry Society's new President (and I now learn, my mum's old chum) Roger McGough. To say nothing of Maya Angelou:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/2002/...u-full.htm
(01-09-2012, 03:11 PM)jiminy Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Leanne, could craic be defined as a sort of happy atmosphere then? Smile
the english word is crack, just for the crack.
for a laugh, for the fun or hell of it as leanne said.

i refuse to prostitute meself through me poetry Big Grin
i think a few have made enough of a living off it but it's probably that "a few"
there used to be some slam poets on tv for while that made a few bob.
I would have to see the figures of royalty from publishing first to believe anyone made their living solely from the publishing of their poetry. Usually they make their money from speechification.
it's like a lot of the music industry. the real cash (for the star) comes from the tours. they're has to be some whov'e made it. someone who carries the torch for all the other would be famous poets?
Now Dale, you said "from published poems" -- and if that includes a recital tour of their published poems, or a CD version, or literary prizes, that's still making money from the same thing Smile

http://www.lesmurray.org/index.htm -- I don't have access to his ledgers though.
(01-12-2012, 04:46 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]Now Dale, you said "from published poems" -- and if that includes a recital tour of their published poems, or a CD version, or literary prizes, that's still making money from the same thing Smile

http://www.lesmurray.org/index.htm -- I don't have access to his ledgers though.

And there, but for the anger of the gods, go we'uns.
Guy's a living legend. IdeaIdeaIdea <- that looks like something
other than an idea on my browser... or is that all in my head?
(Blessings)



What poetry needs is a good marketing manager. Unfortunately, to market poetry you'd have to have a campaign that completely goes against anything marketing stands for, because the spearhead would have to be: think for yourself.

Closely followed by: don't be a bloody sheep, if you don't want to like it you don't have to just because it has a pretty package and a celebrity endorsement.
Well the hardest one these days to get across would be "READ!"
it's 2 cnfsng in txtspk bcos rd hs 2 mny vwls
(01-12-2012, 08:45 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]it's 2 cnfsng in txtspk bcos rd hs 2 mny vwls

I have a practical problem. Right beside me is a book my nephew got out via self-publish. He wants to know what I think, and I told him I would be severe etc. But---- I swing between the Mom School of Critique, and an absolute bastard.

I was not hugely impressed when he wrote and said that could I 'advise on marketing etc' because he was 'not into that side of things'. I mean, wtf? He is the Poet in 'La Boheme' and I am some earth-bound spirit? Sorry, just mouthing off, to avoid doing what I have to-- get on with it; and that after a bit of a snooze. Now, where's that Mimi, and is her hand still frozen?Big Grin
I always tell them that I will find a lot wrong with it, no matter how good it is, and that I do not praise or say nice things. I then return it to them and tell them to think about for a week, and if they still want me to look at it to bring it back then. As what most people are really wanting is praise and instant gratification, that usually weeds most of them out right there, and as the week allows enough time to pass that they can pretend they ever asked me, all is well and good!
But of course this is well traveled ground for us, isn't it Ed. You could just go through and mark all the things that are objectively wrong with with it such as grammar, punctuation, and that which is redundant or a cliche phrase. If you do the corrections with a red pen that should make a pretty good mess of it, without ever having to poo-poo his ideas. As long as you don't attack the idea, or the originality, most people can deal with the other, and they are already used to those kinds of corrections that from school.

Dale

(01-13-2012, 03:24 AM)Erthona Wrote: [ -> ]I always tell them that I will find a lot wrong with it, no matter how good it is, and that I do not praise or say nice things. I then return it to them and tell them to think about for a week, and if they still want me to look at it to bring it back then. As what most people are really wanting is praise and instant gratification, that usually weeds most of them out right there, and as the week allows enough time to pass that they can pretend they ever asked me, all is well and good!
But of course this is well traveled ground for us, isn't it Ed. You could just go through and mark all the things that are objectively wrong with with it such as grammar, punctuation, and that which is redundant or a cliche phrase. If you do the corrections with a red pen that should make a pretty good mess of it, without ever having to poo-poo his ideas. As long as you don't attack the idea, or the originality, most people can deal with the other, and they are already used to those kinds of corrections that from school.

Dale

It is an absolute fucker, Dale. My plan is, to look at it from different points of view. He may, for example be 'scriptor', and I shall feign no knowledge of him. Or line by line, like that horrible bloke that used to terrify novelist and writers for generations; and so on. I can try to follow the method learnt from Leanne, of trying to make suggestions based not on my taste and ideas, but to improve what the writer is seeking to do. After 4 or 5 years at Uni doing Creative Writing, he ought not to be a novice, and I know I am at the best of times a crap critic. Either way, it's a real fucker, but this evening, I cannot deal with it, as I have to go to the pub/jazz. I am conscious that it all means a lot to him -- and of course, in truth, I do know his back-ground, from birth! It is in the form of what he calls epigrams, most v negative about other people. There are, though, occasional flashes of wit--- and he has the same originality over titles as Milton with his sonnets, as pointed out, I think, by Ms L. Grrr! Smile
I was just about to put up my poor overworked little hand and say "send it to me"! I gave up editing because of exactly the problem Dale describes -- people really only want a proofreader and they think they're being tough when they can handle your grammatical corrections. They almost always crumble or take the huff if you dare suggest that something is irrelevant, nonsensical, ill-conceived or redundant.
(01-13-2012, 04:48 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]I was just about to put up my poor overworked little hand and say "send it to me"! I gave up editing because of exactly the problem Dale describes -- people really only want a proofreader and they think they're being tough when they can handle your grammatical corrections. They almost always crumble or take the huff if you dare suggest that something is irrelevant, nonsensical, ill-conceived or redundant.

You did very well not to put up your hand, believe me! I must just get on.....groan.....Wink
Just bumping this, with a reminder: it doesn't matter if you don't get the same thing out of a poem as the next reader, or as the poet him/herself. It's not a competition.
(06-29-2017, 10:22 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]Just bumping this, with a reminder:  it doesn't matter if you don't get the same thing out of a poem as the next reader, or as the poet him/herself.  It's not a competition.


I know I've posted about this recently but that's what I love about poetry. When I like, sometimes love, a poem it makes no difference whether or not I got it "right". It's a partnership between me and the poem, it's given me something I want and I am loyal to it, will not give it up. I can understand when someone describes it differently or when the poet reveals they meant something else, but I got what I got and I'm keeping it. A master of delusion. Big Grin
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