To become a published writer, one has to submit, and submit, and submit. It is good to know the type of poetry a journal or magazine publishes in order to estimate if your style or particular poem might be what they are looking for. More often than not, it's not. So I usually have work sent out to several places at a time. When one comes back rejected, I usually either evaluate why, maybe make some tweaks to them if its been several months since I read them last, and send it back out, or just take the same hard copies out of the returned rejection and into a new envelope ready to send somewhere else. One must not get discouraged.
Recently, however, my work hit a new low. I sent a group of poems to the magazine Now & Then, which is a regional and Appalachian magazine that publishes poetry among other things. I read a few issues of it the last time I was at the library. The upcoming theme was "wildness." I picked several I thought were fitting of the theme. I mailed it on May 10th. I got it back on May 16th with my original cover letter and a small note from the editor at the bottom dated May 13th that stated my poems weren't what she was looking for. Now that may be, but talk about rejection! My poetry spent more time in the mail than it did on her desk waiting to be considered! Well, at least I can now consider sending them elsewhere, instead of waiting months to a year for notification.