A poem expressing a Ph. D. student’s feelings

One of the main aims of a research student is to publish as many papers and journals as possible. With the number of conferences and workshops, one would think that it is not a difficult job. However, acceptance in a reputed conference involves a double blind review usually. Professors on the technical committee are assigned some papers for review, and due to their busy schedule, sometimes, they are forced to ask their students to review the papers, and that is a really scary thought. I am not suggesting that it usually happens this way. All I am saying is that sometimes, the professor who is assigned the review is caught up in writing a proposal for more funding, or is writing a journal him/herself. It is in such cases, that the students will be asked to review. Now, one thing that we know about us students is that we tend to consider our research as cutting edge and that other methods are really not efficient. This would also be a good way to stem the opposition, so to speak (Cue: evil laugh). So, sometimes, good papers get rejections. But the good news is that with so many conferences, symposia, and workshops being organized, we can always work on the negatives points of the paper as pointed by the reviewer, and submit it to another. For every paper written, there exists a conference/symposium/workshop to publish it in. And our ideas will not be wasted. Research goes on!

Anyways, I wrote a poem on how a Ph. D. student feels when his/her paper gets rejected at a conference/journal and why reviewers should care about the author’s feelings when reviewing a paper.


Seeping within, like the night sky,
A searing pain in my heart,
A thorn driven deep inside,
Blackness envelopes me, tearing me apart.

Your review still hurts, ringing in my ears,
Those priceless pearls of wisdom, not knowing penury,
Thought you would be my harbinger of joy,
Turns out instead, you were my angel of misery.

Blame you not, you did what you thought right,
Maybe it was my fault all along,
Incomplete analysis, and mind boggling algorithms,
Oh wretched mind, didn’t you know it was wrong?

Time will heal, and work is refined,
Should learn not to trust your eyes or your heart,
Revise well, else pain and agony you find,
Without remorse, the reviewer will tear you apart.

All I have left are the ideas and thoughts,
I don’t deny deep inside it pains,
But cherish them I will, and learn I must,
Stronger I become, but the memories still remain.



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