Wednesday, March 10, 2010

O Editor! My Editor!

O Editor! My Editor! Our endless task is done;*
My book has weather’d every cut, the prize I sought is won;
The prize is dear, shout-outs I hear, my friends all exulting,
With misty eyes I feel the truth, the path was grim and daunting;

Oh heart! Heart! Heart!
O the bleeding drops of red
On the desk my romance lies
Fallen cold and dead.

O Editor! My Editor…

You had the power
You held the pen
You made the cuts
You wrote ‘the end’.

Perhaps ‘the end’
was the most unkindest cut of all…
the reader sees only what's there to see,
while gone forever is the best of me.

O Editor! My Editor…

Where you sought brevity,
I sought beauty.

While you moved the story,
I moved the reader.

When your aim was 200 pages,
Mine was to rock the ages.

You raced to win the roses,
I slowed to smell the roses.

To you a book is ink and paper,
a job delivered best in time.

To me a book is something magical
best played in the reader’s mind.


* My apologies to Walt Whitman.


The Editor’s Story

The editor looked down at the young man and said, “I’ve read your script. Too many words".

“To be or not to be, that is the question.”

I’ve changed it to: “Here’s the question”.

And in this other play where you write:

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen lend me your ears,”

Just say, “Compatriots, listen up.”

No thank you sir, the young man said, I’ll publish it myself.



  1. I memorized that sucker (O Captain) for a class project once. I like your version too.

  2. Hi Tina:

    I just knew you would know ‘O Captain’. I knew Whitman was good but it’s when you try to imitate him that you can see his real genius. Thanks for coming by.