Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fiddly little edits

Today I printed out a huge stack of poems -- pretty much everything workable I've drafted in the last two years -- and went to Soma, a funky local coffeehouse largely frequented by grad students. I sat there with said stack of poems and a double cappuccino and a pen, and started editing. I wanted to do some real revising, re-entering the poems and making major structural changes, but mostly what I made were fiddly little edits. Still, it felt good; sometimes when I haven't revised in a while I have to sit there making fiddly little edits for a while just to get into the space of making alterations, and eventually I find myself doing the more drastic work.

I also found myself liking a lot of poems I'd half forgotten writing. I rolled my eyes at a bunch of them, of course, but I had lots of "hey, that's not half bad" moments. Which was nice. If I have half an ounce of sense, which I'm not sure I do, I'll take advantage of feeling this way & get some stuff sent out tomorrow.

Also realized I have a lot of, for lack of a better phrase, terribly romantic poems. Not love poems necessarily (and in fact most of them are not love poems per se), just poems that are ... I don't know. Non-cynical, I guess. And I'm really not a hopeless romantic (shut up, you -- I'm not) so I'm not sure where those come from. Funny. I'm beginning to think the me who writes poems believes different things about the world than the me who lives the rest of my life.

Does that make the poems (or me) dishonest? I don't think so. It's just sort of an interesting conclusion to come to.

Maybe poems are like pillow talk: you mean it at the time, but let's hope nobody holds you to it later on. Which is kind of an interesting angle to the persona-poem versus first-person discussion percolating around various corners of the blogosphere (Kelli's place, in particular).

Well, here's a for-example. I'll take it down in a day or so. This one sort of (kinda) falls into the love-poem category, so it's a bit of an exception, but it's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.


1 comment:

Erin said...

Anne, maybe the space you carve out for yourself when you write is a different space than the one(s) you occupy when you're not writing. That happens to me, for sure. It's disconcerting some times, but also kind of tender & beautiful, like it's a place just for you. Like a dreamlife blended with your non-dreamlife. You bring up a good point. That makes me want to read poet (auto)biographies. Cheers.