Rejection letters, correspondence, and miscellanea from the otherwise empty annals of the Journal of Universal Rejection.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Sampling of Poetry

Dear Professor Swanson:

I read with interest the first line of the submitted poem, "Farewell Metathema".  I noticed that the poem was rather longer than the typical five- to ten-liners I usually come across.  I'm a busy man with little time.  To speed up the review process, I decided to treat the poem as data and took a random sample for analysis.  Logically, one might argue that this method might not catch the true flavor of the poem, but logic is overrated.

There are 1329 characters in this poem, including spaces.  I randomly selected 100 characters.  The result was not easily interpretable.  I won't go into the details, but several unsavory words appeared in the sample.  Some of them appeared to be directed at me personally.  (Reject 1, accept 0.)

To be fair, I may have sampled without considering some of the structure of the poem.  A second sample was obtained, this time maintaining the relations of the characters to each other.  Specifically, I sampled words rather than characters. There were 223 words, I sampled 18.  I also preserved the order of the words as they appeared in the original poem.  One of the lines in this poem sample came out as "cross-eyed man's embarrassed erupting" which clearly refers to an episode in my life I am trying to forget.   (Reject 2, accept 0.)

My recommendation:

A poem submitted by Swanson
Cast on the reviewer aspersion
He gave it two tries
But to no one's surprise
It earned a solid rejection

Thank you for submitting to the Journal of Universal Rejection.


Eric Chicken
Associate Editor
Journal of Universal Rejection

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