Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Putting Pen to Paper, Literally

Over the last couple of weeks I have been struggling. I am fine, don’t you worry. I have been struggling to sit down and edit this new and inspiringly creative narrative poem. I decided the other day that editing poetry is like working on a very complicated puzzle. Except in poetry, the words are your pieces, and they aren’t neatly sitting around for you to cram in every available space. Instead, you have to manifest the pieces, imagining their shape and purpose. As if this wasn’t difficult enough, then you must find the perfect place for them, the only place for them, because every piece is uniquely made from your mind. But sometimes, you get a little excited and you imagine these pieces quickly and you shove them in to the spot you think they go. And while they fit, they don’t quite complete the puzzle the way they should. The image is off, faces aren’t matched or the blues just aren’t the same: an ocean compared to a sky. 

That is where I am at now. The puzzle is there. I am just searching and searching for the exact right pieces to fit in their exact right places. This could take awhile.

But I decided that enough of this staring at a computer screen driving myself mad with the thesaurus browser open. One of my favourite poets, Lorna Crozier, once said that if a word wasn’t working and you thought replacing it with a synonym would fix it, you would never feel satisfied because truly, the problem lies in the root, in the stanza, in the line, not the word. So I am closing the computer and putting pen to paper. 
At the Bean Scene, pulling my hair out editing.
And it worked!!! I wrote four new stanzas and expanded the poem significantly towards the long poem length I hoped for. And the best part is that I am just at the beginning of the narrative meaning this poem is going to be long and treacherous. Hopefully I am up for the journey. 

Chicken scratch inspiration!

On to the back...
Expect the unedited beginning of the poem tomorrow! Now, off to make dinner. A mama’s work is never done.

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