It's early morning, and I've made it to my weekend in the middle of the week, Tuesday and Wednesday. So I have some time to settle in and write.
After five months of hearing nothing from the major metaphysical publisher I sent a book of my past-life poetry to, I finally made a telephone inquiry, and promptly got my rejection letter. Of course, what they said was, "We don't publish poetry."
My question is, "How stupid do these people think I am?" Do they think I know so little about the publishing world, that I don't know that major publishers don't publish poetry?
Unless I was born yesterday, I would never have bothered to submit a book of poetry, knowing that nobody publishes poetry. So I must have had something else to offer them. I didn't ask, but presumably, they never read it. There's no use sending them any further protests. At age 20 I might have done so--at age 64, I won't waste my breath. Instead, I'll tell you, the 10 or 12 people who read this blog, according to my stats. Just because I want to get it off my chest, primarily. If you were listening, you'd buy my books.
But first, I'm going to get my preliminary breakfast. One of the local day-old-bread stores in my neighborhood has boxes of sugar doughnuts at reduced prices, and I've gotten into the habit of picking one up for deserts for the week. So I'm going to grab one of those and a glass of organic milk. Can you imagine--cheap doughnuts and expensive organic milk? When I first arrived here in Portland, Maine, I was very pleased to see that several of the non-organic milk brands proudly advertise that they don't add any "artificial growth hormones." I suspect those hormones mess with my system, and I went to organic milk some years ago. The hormones seem to make me have to go to the bathroom more often than usual, and I have been having that problem, again.
Finally, it occurred to me--when corporate America volunteers information, they are probably lying. Here, they have volunteered the information that the hormones are artificial--which probably means they are being technically honest. They add hormones, alright--just not artificial ones. That's why I'm going back to organic.
Now do you think I don't know that major publishers don't publish poetry?
Before I continue, I want to explain that I submitted that book to the one publisher, on the principle that I was giving them a chance to recognize its worth. It is so significant, that if they had the requisite discernment--in other words, if they were worthy--they should be able to recognize what it was. In fact, if they were advanced in metaphysical studies, they should be able to feel it before they even started reading. If, however, they are just a shell of their former selves, they would simply follow the rules blindly, and dismiss it as a "book of poetry," which, of course, they don't publish.
And that's what they did. They failed my test.
Now, this may seem like gigantic hubris, to you. Obviously it must, since you haven't seen fit to buy my book. But for me, this has long-since gone beyond the issue of believing in myself, vs. not believing in myself. I would react the same way if you told me I don't have a left arm. I don't even need to look down to double-check it--I have a left arm, and one can hardly call it hubris that I insist on it.
Here's what else I've got.
This makes me flash on a video I saw on Youtube last night. Youtube is my television service, and I catch lectures on various subjects, as well as things like animation film shorts. Lately I've been curious to see if there is any credible information out there on fairies. I do understand, from my reading, that there are such things--but trying to find anything even remotely authoritative on them is a needle-and-haystack proposition. So having viewed several presentations on fairy myth, I tried a lecture by a psychic, thinking that might be better. What I found was that he was asserting things as fact that he had no way to back up (other than his claim to be psychic). I didn't watch very much of it, beyond getting my facts straight that Elves are a category of Fairies, but not all Fairies are Elves.
I am asserting things I've taken eight years to prove, to varying degrees of certainty. This is completely different.
I have to say that organic milk tastes better...
First of all, this is excellent metaphysical poetry. Like metaphysical publishers, metaphysical poetry has gone to seed in the 21st century. But in order to see this, one would have to read it, which is to say, immerse oneself in it; and one would have to have the capacity to appreciate and understand it. A diamond in the hands of a simpleton might as well be a piece of glass.
I don't flatter my readers, and I don't pull any punches as regards the pretenders who make up 95% of my competition. When I touch upon that subject, my stats plummet, probably because someone pulls their link to this website. Recently, I went down from almost 400/day, to more like 300/day--a drop of fully 1/4th. Do you want me to lie to you, to keep my numbers up? Then, if I did, what would distinguish me from all the other liars?
Secondly, these two people who wrote this poetry--Mathew Franklin Whittier, and his first wife, Abby Poyen--come with very good credentials. Mathew was the younger brother of poet John Greenleaf Whittier. He published anonymously, and this is the first time his poetry has ever been identified. Although his style was quite different, I would say that the quality of his work was not inferior to that of his famous brother. Abby Poyen was a child prodigy, whose poetry was plagiarized by Albert Pike when she took his class, at age 14. Pike achieved brief fame for that poetry, putting himself on the literary map thereby. Much of Abby's poetry in this book is from this early period in her life, though there are some later pieces. Even at age 14, she had a deep grasp of the Perennial Philosophy. There is evidence in her writing that she had studied both Eastern and Western sources. Her first cousin, Charles Poyen, was the first to introduce Mesmerism (i.e., hypnosis) to America, via lecture/demonstrations, for which he was ridiculed.
Thirdly, it was Mathew and Abby who co-authored the original manuscript which Charles Dickens hastily re-worked into his most famous book, "A Christmas Carol." Where you see humorous touches in that work, it's Mathew--but where you see the metaphysically accurate soliloquy by Marley's Ghost, including as it does a description of earth-bound spirits and karma, as well as the entreaties of the philanthropists and Scrooge's psychotherapy/life review, that was Abby. Note that Pike admits he was never able to write poetry like that, again; while Dickens (who wouldn't admit it) was never able to write Christmas ghost stories like that, again.*
Fourthly, Mathew was the original author of "The Raven," before it was claimed by Edgar Allan Poe. Mathew's submission was made under the pseudonym, "----- Quarles." I can't absolutely prove either claim--but having said that by way of strict honesty, I can make a very strong case for both. Being convinced of this, of course, requires an open mind. And open minds are no less rare, today, than they were in the days of the flat earth and the sun revolving around the earth. I'm not speaking of minds that are open like a sieve, so that anything gets through. The discerning open mind is extremely rare, as it has always been.
Fifthly, Mathew exercised a profound influence, from behind the scenes, in furthering the cause of Abolition. He appears to have been one of William Lloyd Garrison's agents, contacting prominent persons (like President Fillmore, Daniel Webster and Victor Hugo) as Garrison's representative, then reporting on these contacts through his seemingly innocuous travelogues. He published, at last count, over 1,200 pieces, including humorous sketches, travelogues, essays, lecture reviews, and poetry--almost all of it anonymously. His work was the primary force driving up subscription rates for several of the newspapers he submitted to over the years. He shows up in the literary history of America at the oddest places--like the infamous story read aloud by Samuel Clemens at John Greenleaf Whittier's 70th birthday celebration, lampooning honored guests Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Mathew was personal friends with Holmes (probably with Longfellow, as well), and it was he who ghost-wrote that story for Clemens. Mathew was by far the senior humorist of the two. It was a birthday present for his brother (even though Mathew is not shown in the seating chart), as well as an opportunity to rib his friends and get in a jab at the snooty literati, who had excluded him from their club. And this is just one example of dozens. Mathew, in short, was a powerful literary force behind the scenes, in the 19th century; but because he remained incognito, his contribution has been almost entirely bypassed in the historical record.
To top it all off, I am Mathew's own reincarnation, and I have reconnected with Abby across the Great Divide. She is my spirit guide, as well as being my wife, now. Together, as Abby has had permission to use occult means to nudge them into my orbit, and prompt me to recognize them, we have chased down these poems, and have created this compilation. Below each poem is a citation, and then some commentary. In that commentary, I provide a summary of the historical back-story, or context. This context comes both from my own past-life impressions, and from years of scholastic research. Each poem has its own personal history--and I understand it in great depth. I know why each one was written.
Therefore, this is not merely a book of poetry. In fact, while the poetry is excellent, one might say that, in a sense, it is actually the excuse for the larger story. My thought was, that if someone at this publisher was astute enough, and intuitive enough, to pick up on what this actually was, it might start a chain-reaction whereby people would become interested in my other work. It's an introduction, in other words, though it stands by itself very nicely as a poetry compilation.
Try explaining that to a worldly publishing executive who is giving you five seconds of his time to dismiss your work, because "We don't publish poetry."
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*Mathew, in an unsigned review of one of these later Christmas productions by Dickens, wryly commented that the story was okay, given that it was probably dashed off in a couple of days, but that he would do better to leave the metaphysics to authors like Bulwer.
Music opening this page: "The Hook" by The Free Design,
from the album, "Cosmic Peekaboo"