“…..Wherever there was a gentleman of renown
in his home I had silver and a mount.
From whomsoever some had greatness and gifts,
greatness and gifts had I from the house of Saman.
The Prince of Khorassan gave me forty thousand dirhems,
Prince Makan more by a fifth,
and eight thousand in all from his nobles
severally. That was a fine time!
When the Prince heard a fair phrase he gave, and his men,
each of his nobles, as much as the Prince saw fit.
Times have changed. I have changed. Bring me my stick.
Now for the beggar’s staff and wallet.”
*xxxxxxxxxRudaki, from the Odes of Basil Bunting
“Thank you for your reply. You are so right when you say that when we are young we may have plenty of champions – and then time passes and things change. I know only too well what you mean. So it makes it all the harder for me to tell you that I don’t see any of my fellow agents here wanting to get involved with your project. To be honest with you, they are either not accepting new authors and majoring on their well established and high earning ones, or if they are, they are on the look-out for young debut novelists with a view to career building from the beginning. In other words I can’t recommend any colleagues, and I am so sorry about this. Poetry doesn’t make money, to be brutally frank. You know this!
As for me – well I am playing my way out and have very little spare time. Caring for my small handful of authors takes up a full three days a week and a lot more.
I regret writing in this disappointing way……”