Opinion poetry by Times readers

Rhyme and reason

Anthony Russo / For The Times

Who knew?

When we put out a call for Op-Ed poetry, we had no idea how many budding poets were out there. But by the time the Aug. 16 deadline rolled around, we’d gotten more than 1,500 submissions, many of them including multiple poems. There was even one, by E. Milton Wilson of Claremont, addressing the plight of the opinion editors: “The deadline nears. The poets have spoke. Editors wish about now it had all been a joke!”

But we have now read every single poem that was submitted, and from them we have, with great difficulty, culled this batch for publication. If you’re reading this in the paper, check our website,, for additional selections we couldn’t fit on the page.

How do you judge opinion poetry? That’s something we grappled with. Literary quality was important. But so were newsworthiness. Clarity of argument. Humor didn’t hurt either. The poems we selected are certainly representative of what we received, and we think each of them makes a strong point with eloquence — and sometimes with wit.

We hope you enjoy them.

—Sue Horton, Susan Brenneman and Cherry Gee