A reader stopped by the office with information about an organization called World of Poetry in Sacramento, Calif. The organization publishes the work of aspiring poets in anthologies that it sells to the poets.
It is sponsoring a World of Poetry convention in New York City Sept. 1, 2, and 3, and our reader, whose poem was accepted for publication in a World of Poetry anthology, wondered what we thought about the convention.His poem, "The Epic Journey," is about the Apollo space program. He ordered an anthology for $39 plus he and paid $10 extra for the dedication that preceeds his poem.
First, we'd like to print the poem with permission of the poet.
THE EPIC JOURNEY
By Dwain C. Barker
There was a moment in the sky
When man must apply
a momentious momentous decision, he alone
To change the course of history,
and seal his fate,
That decision came from Apollo 8,
On December twenty first,
Nineteen hundred and sixty eight.
NASA's team knew all was go, but
the final decision was to come
From space, and so, answer R-O-G-E-R
with credulous boon,
Man was at last on his first
flight to the moon.
Pictures came from outer space
to prove that we had won the race,
The distance out 140,000 miles,
Buck Rogers was no longer in a file,
He had flown this route before,
he had shown us how to score.
Another moment came on the
threshold of space.
When man would continue the race
to find a place to land,
In his future flights to the moon.
Then out of sight and sound they went,
While we on earth our prayers sent,
In hope that in some small way,
We involved our soul that day.
The report was that the surface of
the moon was grayish uninviting, dead.
But ten trips around they went,
To explore, to find they said,
A place that's smooth, where man
might step when that day came,
When man would leave his tracks upon
So they had set the embers burning
In imagination bright,
To open the gate to the moon landing
So Apollo 11 with three Astronauts brave,
Knew their rocket would behave,
To the moon they went and from that
Satellite sent this message great,
"TRANQUILITY BASE HERE, EAGLE
HAS LANDED," fate again is on
The powdery dust of millions of
years lay waiting mans man's first,
Step upon the moon.
But there was no room for fear
or superstition, as Armstrong
Planted his foot solidly in
Position, and, beamed these historic
words back to us:
"ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, A GIANT
LEAP FOR ALL MANKIND."
The registration fee for the convention is $495 per poet and $425 per guest. The convention begins with a reception and banquet the evening of Sept. 1, continues the next day and concludes at noon the day after that.
In addition, you must pay for your hotel room. World of Poetry suggests that you stay at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, where the convention is being held. The convention rate for a room is $99 per night.
You must pay your own travel expenses, as well. World of Poetry says United Airlines is offering convention participants a 45 percent discount off normal coach fares.
At the convention, poets will read their poems in front of a convention audience. A TV crew will tape poets reading their poems for a television series hosted by World of Poetry's John Campbell.
Numerous celebrities are scheduled to appear, including Minnie Pearl, Sid Caesar and Eugene McCarthy.
In our opinion $920 (for you and your spouse) plus hotel and traveling expenses is a lot to pay for what is essentially 13/4 days of activities. What you're getting for your money is a moment of celebrity. And only you can determine whether that moment of glory is worth the price.