Poetry

There are as many definitions of poetry as there are poets. Wordsworth defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;” Emily Dickinson said, “If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry;” and Dylan Thomas defined poetry this way: “Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing.

Poetry is a lot of things to a lot of people. And we at Narrow Road will not attempt to tell you what that is, since we are not that sure either. But yes, we do not look at unnecessarily rhyming words very kindly [1]. And we would really like it if your poem can be twenty lines or fewer, not misspelled, and adheres to the laws of English grammar [2]. As for poetic license, we follow the following cost-benefit algorithm:

IF {Amount of License Taken} < {Dramatic Effect Produced}, THEN {Accept}, ELSE {Reject}

[1] Go ahead and send a villanelle, sonnet or any other form poetry if you’re confident of getting the meter and rhythm right, alongside the rhyme.

[2] We’ll take one non-English poem every issue. With a translation into English, either by the poet, or someone competent in the language. Any language from around the Earth, as well as C++, Klingon, High Valyrian and Esperanto.

P.S. Please avoid sending us shape poetry. It’s the devil to format and is a great cause of ruined friendships.