How Many Poems Make a Lifetime?

When my first poem was published years ago I embarked on the dream of compiling a weighty tome of poetry by the time I approached senility.  I planned to submit my little lyric masterpieces one by one to eager editors who would scatter my bylines hither and yon in their magazines, newspapers and anthologies.  Only after hundreds had been published individually this way would I gather them all up into a collection of my life’s work, a legacy that I could be proud of.

Life happens, of course.  Submitting one poem at a time became tedious, labor-intensive.  The competition was tough.  The  monetary reward non-existent.  I moved on to prose projects.  Poetry became my secret joy, for my eyes only. When life beat me up, I wrote sharp daggers to fight back.  When bliss came I let some of it spill over onto a page. I love these pieces.  They are my children.  I made them and they comfort me now in my maturing years.

My poetry collection is all but ready for publication. I have sloshed through the formatting. I have the cover. I’m getting final input from a favorite friend here and there. I can boast on my list of acknowledgements that eight of them have already been in print elsewhere. So how many poems make a lifetime?  Let’s say I have about 40 to share.

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