Reply To: my letter to NYT

  • Jeff Verge

    January 6, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    Hi Elspeth

    Yes of course, although they don’t call her the Grey Lady for nothing. I have no expectations for a response. But now I see something that will definitely appear *different out of context. which I’ll try to clarify:

    1. This letter is not a cold opening by any means, and a spirit of challenge has been welcomed in the past as a means to fathom differences of opinion. Although I’m really not sure of anything, I went ahead assuming a few key people, including possibly even the publisher himself, already know who I am (i.e. are aware that I exist…). I wrote a handful of times some years ago, commenting on a long conversation already in progress. When the Grey Lady notices you, she lets you know…

    2. I’m proud to say the one and only poem I’ve ever written is/ was under consideration for publication by NYT Books, since this past April. I only wrote it for fun, thinking I’d give a chuckle to a few people in the books dep’t who’d put together a sizable poetry feature. But while it may work on its own, my musings on Time and Victorian Poetry are probably best enjoyed immediately after reading the NYT’s pointed critique of a poem written about the Titanic, 111 years ago now. So … context! I had a lot of fun with a glass of red wine and a few hours creating it and it was very nice to be asked a few days later if they could publish it. But like the letter above, it might look a lot better in context. Perhaps I should edit the pre amble with some of this,

    3. A recent conversation got me thinking about different types of audience, and I got to thinking about how different a conversation about our two modes of processing will be depending if we’re talking with a meditative/ artistic/ spiritual person versus talking with a hard-headed/ detail-oriented/ competitive person. Years ago I read or heard the publisher say he liked to see ideas in opposition as a means to enhance clarity, and I’ve been running with that ever since.

    My regret at the likeliest outcome, that I will cancel my subscription due to seeing too many errors, is genuine.