Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Worry" Also Means...

"To worry" is also to shred a thing into unrecognizable pieces. Poets know they can revise a poem to death. So I told myself, no, don't tear open that sealed envelope addressed to the literary journal, already stamped and packed with poems and the SASE. Do not worry them to pieces! What's done is done, and for pete's sake, let the thingies go! Yesterday finished a poem that had been unsatisfactory for two and a half years, with a good beginning and an undeveloped middle. A "continuation" of that poem existing only in draft form (or "drat form," as a misstrike told me) finally got woven into it. So many temptations to add more! add less! break the line differently! change that word!

I remember Langston Hughes quoting his teacher: "Always finish." For this one I required a deadline, August 31, to force me both to finish it and let it go.

1 comment:

  1. I love that "drat" form. There is wisdom in typos, eh? Freudian truths.

    I also love knowing that a poem can still be saved, even simmering for years as an idea that isn't quite working. I have a few of them that aren't quite right. My naughty children I can't quite give up on.