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When I first started putting my poetry on the internet I was fooled by this site. Call it my vanity if you will, but I did wonder when I first got a letter through the post saying my poetry had been considered for their anthology. Imagine, first time writer and you get noticed nearly straight away. Seems too good to be true? Well it was! This site then asks for money from you to buy the anthology which has your work in it. That was when I knew this site was nothing more than vanity publishing.
Vanity publishers ask you to pay for your own book. They promise in return a book that contains your work as well as the work of others. They give you no money in return. What you are paying for and why they are called vanity publishers is because it is a nice feeling to see your work in a book. It is a feeling of pride that you achieved getting your work published. There is no shame to be felt if this has happened to you they prey on vulnerable people.
This site is all about money not giving you the money, but the people who run it getting money from you. If you submit a poem probably what will happen is that a month or so down the line you will receive a letter saying that you haven't won a prize, but if you would like to pay I think it was about £20 in British money then you can get your work in the anthology and a copy of the anthology. This seems so wonderful when you are a newcomer to poetry. At least, it seemed wonderful to me and I know a lot of other people who have fallen prey to this. Thankfully I did nothing. My work still remains on the site. Whilst writing this review I decided to go back and take a look at some of my work and I can see how much I have changed since I first started writing. My work was forced rhyme and it didn't sound natural. Let me give you an example;
Untitled Free flowing love, Like a waterfall, Floating high Far above.
Fulfilment of the highest nature, Glorious glow, Like a ball Free to flow.
When you realise that Such joy cannot be brought Or that such love Can never be taught
Free flowing love, A glorious glow Full of life Free to flow.
This standard of poetry would never stand a chance in a legitimate contest. Besides most legitimate contests ask for a small entrance fee though never a huge amount so do be careful when you enter a poetry contest as there are a lot of scams. I will give an example of my newer poetry later on. I will discuss the site for now.
This site is good if you want to buy people gifts with your work published on them. So for Christmas and birthday gifts it could be good if that is what you want. If you do use Poetry.com then you will find it is all about getting money off you and very little customer care or service.
There is an alphabetical list of poetry by name so you can search the site. Underneath the poem you will find ways of purchasing your poem all for a fee that is way above average. Of course, you can order the book.
If you click on the order details you will get this information:
$49.95 Classic, coffee-table quality hard-bound volume. Features poem "" on a full page by itself. Printed on fine-milled paper specifically selected to last for generations. Approximately 250 pages.
This certainly sounds good doesn't it? But, look again at the price! As a poet why should you have to buy your own work? Does this not seem silly? Except when you're a writer and an inexperienced one at that it seems wonderful not worth questioning. Indeed that is what so many vulnerable writers have done. Yet if you complete a college class in writing they will teach you time and time again not to be fooled by vanity publishing which is what this site specialises in.
One good thing that the site has added now is the free use of e cards with your own poem written on. That's actually a nice way to send someone a greeting that is personalised by you. I think it's about the only free feature on the site though! The cards are quite pretty and definitely worth sending.
You can get a set of 48 laminated cards with your poem on for $29.95, a tote bag with your poem written on for $34.95, a calendar for $19.95, a plaque for $38.00, a Sweat Shirt for $39.95, a mouse pad for $19.95 and 36 greetings cards for $39.95. I suppose despite the high prices the site has got it's uses though there are other sites which charge a lot less. Actually some of these would make good gifts so if you have the money and want to give out your poem as a gift then you may like this site.
You can also play the game poetry in motion which may help if you have writers block or just want some inspiration to start a new poem.
This site has not been a good benefit to me in my poetry writing unlike another site that I am with at the moment where you actually get feedback from others. This site will not allow other members to correspond with you or point out errors or places that you could have made better. If you are a writer wanting to improve your skills then this is not the site for you. If you are looking for an expensive and unusual gift then maybe this site is for you.
I mentioned earlier that this site was where I placed my earlier poetry before I knew any different. The poem below is one of my newest writes and I feel that it is much better than the one I showed you earlier.
Cobwebs In The Mist
Cobwebs floating in the mist, I am a stranger to this earth I gave my life away like the stars in the sky, I came to earth to sing with the stars in heaven To float on the wings of an eagle.
Following footsteps of a staircase that reaches nirvana A bearded man with no name In this place where I am found
It is deeper than the eye can see. Sometimes I sit and think of times gone by, Where the mirror favoured my name. Where people fell on their knees and worshiped me.
There was a time when I was important They fell in love with me. People looked in the mirror As I walked down the stairs But, now it's muffled in the woods The screaming no longer heard I cannot break through Trapped in eternal damnation A new age has begun.
This is the most recent of my poetry work and in my opinion far superior than the poem first seen.
So in final conclusion if you are looking for a site where you can improve your skills then look again. Poetry.com has it's uses, but personally I would say take a look, but don't spend your money.