Friday, August 19, 2011

Draft Process: Fragile Breathing

73ยบ ~ it's early yet, on the way up to 97 - 100, mostly clear skies, the sun beginning to break through the leaves above the roof lines over my left shoulder, near calm

There's a reason I do my drafting and other poetry tasks first thing in the morning, Dear Reader.  This first week of school proves again that by the afternoon and evening, I'm wrung out, done, unable to compute.  So, I'm happy to report that this morning was a success.

As with my last several drafts, I went casually word gathering to start the day, although I switched from Lucie Brock-Broido's The Master Letters to Julianna Baggott's Compulsions of Silkworms & Bees.  Still, as I word gathered, I kept an eye out for a line that might suggest a title.  For some reason, this way into the drafts keeps working (knock wood), so I'll keep exploiting it. 

Baggott's style is distinctly different from Brock-Broido's, with Baggott's tone more down-to-earth than Brock-Broido's, I think.  While at first a bit uncomfortable, after a bit, I was glad in the shift of gears.  When I came to Baggott's poem "For Theodore Roethke," I found my title in the following line, "this garden of our fragile breathing." 

The draft for today is titled "This Garden of My Fragile Breath." It is, again, an epistolary poem, this time set in tercets (nine total).  My speaker remains a sickly woman, although no fever this time.  Instead, failing lungs.  As my grandfather died of COPD, I found myself drawing from some of the images surrounding his experience with lung disease. 

Bronchial Tree of Lungs from SPL
I've found a groove in writing these poems in which the sickly speaker addresses a healthy "other," the "you" in the poems, who might offer her comfort.  Again, I'm not going through any major illness right now, so I'm surprised by how much I have to say about the matter. 

Strange muse, but I will not turn her away.

4 comments:

Kathleen said...

Fascinating once again--your process, your connections! These lungs.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Hey, Kathleen. Thanks for stopping in and offering your support. It means so much!

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Interesting. Nothing wrong with keeping with the same modus opeandi if it's working.

It'd be a lot of work to make the sickly poems grow into a Sick River Anthology, however.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Q! A title for the project! :)