When I was about nineteen I showed my poems to one of my teachers at Wayne. He said these were incredible poems, poems that should be published. I said, “Oh really?”—I was thrilled—“How would I go about doing that?” He walked over to his bookshelf and brought back a copy of Harper’s. He wrote down the name of the editor and said, “Send the poems to him. I met him once at a party, he may remember me. It doesn’t matter, the poems are so good. Just send them.” So I sent them. A month later they came back with a little printed note telling me they didn’t suit their present editorial needs. I was just shocked. I took it to the teacher and said, “Why, you assured me.” He said, “I don’t understand it.” He was a very sweet man, but he didn’t know the first thing about publishing.
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