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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

by Plagiarist.com Staff
Last Updated: 13 December 2002

I have this essay to write. Could you help me with...


You didn't let me finish.

We cannot do your homework for you. Even if we wanted to, which we don't, the amount of requests for analysis outweigh the amount of time we'd have to fill them.

In November 2002 we began a service whereby students could receive some help with writing their papers through use of the Plagiarist PoetryNotes™. Our PoetryNotes™ are detailed notes outlining and explaining a single poem, in depth, and with an included biography, bibliography, and some helpful tips you can use to write your research paper.

For more about the Plagiarist PoetryNotes™, see the Plagiarist PoetryNotes™ FAQ.

Why is your site called "Plagiarist.com"?

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Seriously, we started a literary magazine called "The Plagiarist" and bought www.plagiarist.com to be the online version (every magazine has to have a web site, right?) and then the site sat and languished for two years.

When I was re-designing my poetry web site, I thought that I should get a new domain name for it. As I was trying to think of something both:

a) Appropriate, and
b) Not already taken

It occurred to me that Plagiarist.com was just sitting there on the web, feeling sad because it had little content and no one visited. I decided to use it for the newly revamped poetry site.

It also seemed to fit perfectly with one of my favourite quotes from T.S. Eliot:

One of the surest of tests is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.

--T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). "Philip Massinger"
The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. 1922.

Why don't you include (SOME POET'S NAME) on your site?

Because when I was five, (SOME POET) burned down my house.

Most often, an omission of a particular poet is not intentional, but rather just that we haven't gotten to them yet. Very rarely, we have a bias (personal or otherwise) against a poet, and we'll exclude them with extreme prejudice. But most of the time, it's simply a matter of having only so much time.

Why the hell did you include (SOME POET'S NAME)? He/She SUCKS!

Sometimes they were submitted, sometimes they were requested by many visitors (like Mary Oliver), and sometimes you're just noticing that we have a different taste in poetry. I'm the editor of the site, and I don't like every poem that we include, but since we pretend to be a democracy, sometimes I like to throw the rabble a bone and include a poet, like Bukowski, that I don't mind terribly, but who I know does nothing to further the art or improve my life to any degree.

How do you decide what to add to the archive?

We actually have a system, if you can believe it. We add poems in the following order, time permitting (this is a labour of love, not a full-time job):

  1. Visitor Submissions (because they're easy to add)
  2. Visitor Requests (to make our visitors happy)
  3. Poems that we want to use to complement an article we're writing
  4. Personal predilections
  5. Anthological completeness (poems that we feel should be included in any poetry anthology)
  6. Anything else we happen to come across or decide on

Can you help me find...

No. We're sorry, but if a poem's not included in the archive, we don't have a copy of it.

But you may make a request and if we can find it and get permission to post it, we will.

I'm looking for a poem on (SOME THEME). Could you direct me to such a poem?

Again, no. Some sites organize poems by "theme" - love poems, poems about mourning, poems about people's cats, etc. Usually poems that can be easily organized into "themes" probably aren't very good poems. Lots of web sites publish bad poetry. A quick search through Yahoo.com will likely help you find what you need.

I submitted a poem. How come it wasn't included in the archive?

There are several reasons that a submitted poem may not be included in the archive. Did you read our submission guidelines before submitting a poem?

Poems that aren't added either a) violate our submission guidelines, or b) are poems that we don't feel will enhance the Plagiarist.com Poetry Archive. There's no need to keep re-submitting them. We got your e-mail, we just rejected it. No, we will not send a rejection letter.

Could you include some of my poetry in the archive?

No. We only publish poetry that is either of interest to us and our readers, or widely covered in schools around the country. If you're a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and would like us to include your poems on the site, please contact us. We'd be happy to come to some arrangement. But if your grandmother and your cats are the only people to have ever read your poems, you may want to hold off, there, slick.

Other sites on the web publish poems by unknown authors - why don't you submit to one of those sites?

Who translated (SOME POEM)?

When we know who the translator of a particular poem is, we will always include the translator's name beneath the poem. Unfortunately, some of our submissions don't include this information, and sometimes we cannot contact the submitter, which means that unless someone contacts us to let us know, the translation information will be missing.

But we're not holding out on you. If we knew the translator's name, we'd post it.

I linked to your website. Could you link back to mine?

Sorry, but we have no links page. But let us know if you link to us (we certainly appreciate it) and we'll keep a list of sites that link to us. Perhaps in the future we'll publish a list of sites that link to us and then your site will be on that list.

Do I need permission to publish/perform/etc. a poem found on this site?

YES! You absolutely need permission from the copyright holder to re-publish or perform any of the poems, articles, or anything else published on this site.

Can you give me the copyright holder's contact information?

No, we're sorry, but we cannot contact you individually regarding the current copyright holder of a work found on Plagiarist.com.

Why wasn't my question included in your FAQ page?

It probably wasn't asked frequently enough (and by "frequently", we mean by a multitude of different people - not the same question from you submitted one thousand times).

If your question is missing from this page, and you need answers, contact us and we'll try to answer your questions.

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