Sunday, 24 February 2013

In Pursuit of a Poem

I have become something of a master
At writing the promising, yet ultimately unfinished, poetical disaster.
Sometimes I have spent several days in pursuit of the construction of a 
   poem with lasting integrity and interiority,
Only to end up with a handful of lines which exhibit mediocre inferiority.

An apparently original thought takes shape, then I make sure that I’ve sorted
   the metre out,
But just as the writing’s got underway, the ideas all suddenly peter out.
I put down my notebook, I go for a walk, and I think, “I’ll come back to you
But when I return, my critical faculties turn me into a self-loathing traitor.

I read it aloud and I think to myself that perhaps the first line’s not sorted,
And it’s downhill from there, as with quiet despair, the rest of the poem’s

Get out the pencil, turn it on its head,
Annihilate all traces of lead,
Then edit the first line, ponder, “Where to from here?”
Some words, a phrase, a line will appear.
The poem gets going once again, until…
The flow of words slows down; becomes still.

…a bit like this one, really.

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