So you can read my books

Thursday, August 16, 2012


{"Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man."
~Emily Dickinson.}

That fabulous scamp of a gentlemen, Samuel Clemens, asked me to write in this "computer newspaper," as he calls it.

The dear somehow knew this date was important to me.

“Success is counted sweetest” was published anonymously in an anthology titled A Masque of Poets on this day in 1878,

the last of the handful of my poems published in my lifetime.

Though I remained firm in my decision that “My Barefoot-Rank is better,” this poem does reflect my continued mixed feelings about publishing:

Success is counted sweetest

By those who ne'er succeed.

To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host

Who took the flag to-day

Can tell the definition, So clear, of victory!

As he, defeated, dying,

On whose forbidden ear

The distant strains of triumph

Burst agonized and clear!

I wonder, struggling souls, what would it mean to you if you were never published?

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -
True Poems flee.

How long would you continue to write should publication elude you? Are the words burning within you to find life on the page?

For me, I never stopped writing :

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Will you stop writing if the years pass, leaving you unpublished? Why? And if you would continue, why? This tender spirit would like to know.

Just walk out into the sable night, look up into the listening stars, and whisper your answer to the wayfaring winds. I am a ghost. I shall hear.

{THE LAST SHAMAN is #15 on Amazon's Best Selling Native American Fantasy list.}

*{Daguerreotype of the poet Emily Dickinson, taken circa 1848. (Original version.)

From the Todd-Bingham Picture Collection and Family Papers, Yale University Manuscripts & Archives Digital Images Database,

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years.}



  1. As I've said before, if I'd never been published, I would've been all right.

  2. Alex:
    It is hard to say for me truthfully.

  3. Never say never! (=

    But either way-- do it for the love of it!

  4. Jo:
    That's the very same thought Emily had. We are in great company, right?

  5. Jo:
    That's the very same thought Emily had. We are in great company, right?

  6. Jo:
    That's the very same thought Emily had. We are in great company, right?

  7. Jo:
    That's the very same thought Emily had. We are in great company, right?

  8. Sorry but Blogger went craaaaazy on me there, Jo.

  9. Great words from a beautiful poet. I have never had the choice of not writing, it is part of who I am, whether published or not.

    On another subject, your autographed picture of Robert came in the mail today...I love it, thanks again Roland. Have a wonderul week-end!

  10. gorgeous poetry. It does make you wonder how that person felt who discovered all those little scraps of paper after Emily died and had them published. Can you imagine?

    It's such a different world now for writers. And that's a great thing! :o) <3

  11. Publication is my goal, but I'd continue writing, regardless. I've done some type of writing all my life, for myself and for work.

    Writing has kept me sane, it's where I try to make sense of the world and the people in it. It gives me somewhere to vent my imagination. I wrote poetry in college - very idealistic (due to reading Sartre and Kafka)

    Have a great weekend, Roland. I will check out about the Amazon reviews. (It depends on how much they want to know about me.)

  12. I love Emily Dickenson and the other Gothic poets like Poe.
    Also writers like Bronte. I love the darkness in their writings.
    I wonder what they would have made of todays writers?

  13. I would continue to write even if I were never published. There is a freedom in writing and experimenting with new genres and subjects that is similar to trying new things like bungee jumping or snorkeling. It's a natural high when you write something new (or jump off a cliff over a river) and find that you like it more than you thought you would. For me, when it comes to writing it's still fulfilling, even if the stories only live on my blog and don't make it past the slush pile.
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

  14. Siv:
    I'm so happy the autographed picture of Robert Downey jr. arrived today! Yes, like you, I will write despite the cobwebs on my ebooks! :-)

    It was her sister who championed Emily poems and worked to get them published. Its the scoundrels who criticized her heartlessly I would like to see her fame now!!!

    I've had several post reviews on Amazon using pen names. I think you are right. Write because you love it.

    I think they might find some of these new writers shallow and copy-cats! But only their ghosts know!! :-)

    You and I are much alike in writing because it is in our blood and gives us that which nothing else can. :-)