“She writes real poetry and it sells for real money,” the New York Daily Mirror declared in 1935. “Not every poet can do that.”
“Girl is Genius!” the Los Angeles Examiner exclaimed that same year. That genius was Margaret Fishback, poet and highly successful advertising copywriter. Fishback was often publicly lauded, but she is little known today. And that is a shame. She is a fascinating proto-feminist figure—declaring in print that she didn’t need a husband and gleefully earning more than enough money to pay her own way—and her delightful light verse is by turns evocative of Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Ogden Nash.
Good read: It’s Glorious! It’s Grand! Margaret Fishback was one of the most highly paid advertising women in the 1930s—and a popular poet. -Kathleen Rooney – Poetry Foundation – December 14, 2016
Lines to a Budding Poet
Bear in mind, my little man:
Never let your verses scan.
And acceptance will be sparse
If, by any chance, they parse.