Friday, March 26, 2010

Painful Return to Drafting

50º ~ cooler today, but plenty of sun, one stubborn tree of unknown type refuses to leaf in the neighboring yard, otherwise, the view is filling up with new growth...pale green

Today being Friday, I decided to try for a draft of a new poem. Two weeks ago, I was unsuccessful; last week, no draft due to window installation. I knew I'd be rusty and weak-muscled after the absence. I started out by reading a few chapbooks (more on that to come in a future post), but alas, no lines swam to the surface. After 45 minutes of reading without inspiration (not the fault of the chapbooks), I decided to fall back on my wordbank & random number generator brainstorming. I gathered words from both chapbooks and then made random pairs of words. The very first pair suggested the content of the poem, although I resisted it at first because it touches a raw emotion still oozing. In the end, I didn't use any of the word pairs I generated for the final version of this first draft. Several made it onto the page but were revised out. However, I did draw on some of the strongest words from the list. I grabbed this picture of lilac blossoms from Google Images because the poem ends on an edible lilac blossom garnish (had to look it up to be sure it wouldn't kill the speaker). The draft is titled "What Devours Us is Worth Devouring," and I have to say this was the toughest draft to title in a long, long time. I must have tried on a dozen ill-fitting phrases before settling on this. Not sure it will last.

Time and time again, I advocate the practice of writing to my students, the willingness to be at the desk no matter what. Of course, I draw the comparison to famous athletes who put in hours of practice to become great. Today, I've proved myself true. Two weeks away from active drafting resulted in a more painful return to the playing field.

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