Tuesday, November 03, 2009

if death smells like nutmeg

I have a poem called “Training” up today at Linebreak, the clean, well-lighted site that offers its poets a whole week in the sun. Click on the sound icon you’ll hear Aran Donovan read the poem (thanks!).

It took me years to write this poem, literally, from writing down the first few ideas, to revising, to putting the poem in the ice file, to revising, to throwing up my hands, to finally coming up with a way to “solve” the poem, which is what I call finding the wording that lets the poem say and do what it wants to.

I was inspired to write it way back when after reading a poem by David Ignatow that began “I must train myself to no longer exist…” You can see where the title comes from. His poem is here! Read it. He’s one of those wonderful, unique poets no one reads enough of.

Such a long wait for a poem to finish itself I also had with “Curtains.” I had the beginning in my notebook forever and ever, and slowly built a body but never seemed able to find a satisfying ending. It languished for a long time even though I was fond of it. Finally, I don’t remember how, but the heart’s “monstrous socket,” came to me, the pain caused by having to be involved emotionally with the world, and not being able, really, to wrap yourself up in heavy curtains.

7 comments:

Jeff said...

I saw the Linebreak entry before coming to the blog today. It's a beautiful piece with your usual expressive imagery.

I'm first learning patience with poetry. I always believed first words down were last words down. I'm now learning revision - the kind you do on "paper" and not just in your head.

It's amazing how a single phrase can capture you. Sometimes an entire piece turns on it..

Thanks for some great writing, Sarah - I always appreciate what you offer us.

- Jeff

SarahJane said...

Jeff, that's kind of you. I'm flattered. thanks

Kasscho said...

You're right. 'the heart's monstrous socket' is so perfect - so rich - that, once again, I wish I'd written it. Ah, this jealousy thing - got to get ahold of it...

Ron. said...

Fabulous work, Sarah; congratulations.

I'm still working on Perryville Taxicab, the first line of which found paper in 1969, the completion of which is a white whale.

millss said...

I read your pieces from Swink Magazine, and I clicked myself all the way here just to say I like them!

SarahJane said...

Thanks folks. I think everyone has poems tucked away that need work and an electro shock.
Millss, very nice of you to read and visit. thx

cynthia newberry martin said...

Congratulations on the publication of your poem. I clicked away and read it. I agree with Jeff. It's a lovely piece. Being a fiction writer I especially enjoyed hearing about your process of writing it. I too am learning to give my writing a little room, as in space not four walls.

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