Flash Friday: Rejected

By Beerc, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday I received a note of acceptance for a second poem to be featured in an upcoming poetry anthology featuring quincouplets, a five word poetry form inspired by Hemingway’s six word story. I know what you are thinking. How difficult can it be to write a five word poem? Well, apparently quite difficult. Of the six poems I have submitted to the anthology, whose editor is also the creator of the form, only two have been accepted and one with a rewrite. Yes, a rewrite. Actually, the rewrite consisted of simply removing the title. The editor pointed out that the title was redundant and I had to agree. While I am thrilled to have my poetry included in the anthology, I cannot help but feel sad for the poor little rejected quin that accompanied the recently selected poem in my second round of submissions. So without further ado I give you Untitled Spoonerism, a poem inspired by my frequent bouts of speaking with twisted tongue.

birds wobble
on tangled rung

…and for the first time in print, its twisted sister:

words bobble
on wrangled tongue

A quincouplet is a five word poetry form inspired by Hemingway’s six word story. It is a single stanza, two line poem composed of two words in the first line and three in the second. To read more about the history of the quincouplet please visit Quincouplet.org. Additional guidelines for composing your own quincouplets can be found here.


About Susan Warren Utley

Susan Warren Utley is a wife and mother living and writing in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her stories are inspired by the unexpected twists and turns of real life and by her muse, a feisty Jack Russell Terrier who occasionally answers to the name of Lucy. View all posts by Susan Warren Utley

9 responses to “Flash Friday: Rejected

  • modestypress


    Leaves fall.
    Winter springs down.

  • gingerclub

    I just subscribed to your lovely blog and put you on my blogroll:-)) Keep it up!!

    Smiles, Ginger

  • gingerclub

    Hello Susan,

    It has been so long since I last visited your blog. Congratulation for being accepted for your poem accepted – this is awesome! You certainly open my mind to English literature again. I did not know that Hemingway was also writing poems.

    Lovely to see you and also congratulations on the great design of your blog!! Smiles, Ellen alias Ginger http://beatbloodpressure.wordpress.com

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Thanks Ellen! The most recent poem is the seventh piece accepted this summer. It is amazing what can happen when you start putting yourself out there.

      I’ve been subscribed to your blog for several months now and have just added you to the blogroll. Thanks so much for stopping by.


      by Ernest Hemingway

      For we have thought the longer thoughts
      And gone the shorter way.
      And we have danced to devils’ tunes,
      Shivering home to pray;
      To serve one master in the night,
      Another in the day.

  • pattisj

    I like your quincouplets. We were challenged to write a six-word story for our writers group. That was tough.

  • Melissa Barlow (@mcbarlow36)

    Hey, that’s great it’s included though! I just got a letter that my short story wasn’t a top winner in a writing contest, although they liked my “narrative voice and dialogue.” Whatever.

    • Susan Warren Utley

      Actually this one and its invisible twin were not accepted. I liked them but apparently it wasn’t what they were looking for and that’s okay. I try not to take rejection personally because what isn’t right for one publication may be right for another. On the upside they did take two others and I am very proud of those as well. You are lucky to have received a personal rejection from the writing contest. So few editors have the time or take the time to do so. At Haunted Waters Press we are trying to respond to each submission as if they were our own. We are also attempting a response time of 30 days or less which is proving to be a challenge. It takes time and effort but we are determined! I think the fact that we are still playing the submission game ourselves makes us unique and keeps us grounded!

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