Thursday, June 7, 2012

Draft Process: Small-Time Rapture

83 deg ~ the glorious nature continues

After I finished my earlier post for the day, I turned to re-reading Mary Ann Samyn's Beauty Breaks In. The physical evidence of the book proves that I read it last year, all dog-eared pages and underlines, but for some reason, the book was still on the to-read pile, so I thought what the heck and picked it up, knowing that Samyn has that zing of imagery and leaping language that energizes me.

As I read, the poems were familiar, although I found a few new pages to turn down, a few new lines to annotate.  This made it much easier for me to jot down the words I loved as I read along, so I built a word bank again, with the thought to using the words for tomorrow's draft.  I had a 1:00 lunch date, so I wasn't really thinking "draft."  Again, the words took over and I started drawing my arrows and circles and making connections (banging the words together until sparks flew) and when I was about 3/4 of the way through the book, a whole new sickly speaker poem was born. 

The germ started from the beginning of the book with the word "styptic," which appears in line 8 of the first poem in the book.  With the mystics heavy on my mind, the pair "mystic" - "styptic" kept rolling around in my head as I read, couldn't get them to quiet down, and eventually, I sketched out the draft.  I was reading outside without the iPad or loaner laptop, so I drafted quite a bit in my journal.  In that handwritten draft, the lines wanted to be unevenly indented with lots of white space.  When the draft petered out, I turned back to the book and finished it. 

I noticed I still had a half hour before I had to get ready for lunch, so I went inside and grabbed the iPad to draft out the poem, not wanting to give up the great weather.  As I typed, I realized that all the odd indenting didn't work, but it helped me with the phrasing as I ordered the lines back on the left margin. 

Oh!  And this is a letter poem to the sickly speaker's mentor.  For those of you just joining in, we don't know the mentor's name, but her gender, female.  She is simply addressed as "Dear Madame."  Also, this is another poem that reports on the speaker's recovering health.  It begins:

Dear Madame--

The turning point was thus:

A mystic came with a styptic gaze,
a nervy mercy in the dose
of his testimony, unabridged.

The draft is 23 lines after the greeting and moves between couplets, tercets, and single-line stanzas in no particular pattern.  The title comes from Samyn's book, from the poem "An Introduction to Devotion," which contains the line "This is small-time rapture."  Using "Small-Time Rapture" makes this one of the shortest titles in the series, but I do think it's the right phrase for what happens in the draft.

So much productivity today!  I'm happy to make up the poem I missed on Tuesday.  


Kathleen said...

Ooh, I like "nervy mercy" together, too, as well as "mystic" and "styptic."

I did get pulled by the great weather, taking books, pen, and paper outside!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kathleen! I saw "nervy" in one of Samyn's poems and wondered if I could pull it off, too. Time will tell.

Hooray for outside writing weather!!

Unknown said...

You are so inspiring!! I have decided, after reading your daily process notes, that I will sit my butt in the chair each day for the rest of the summer, even if I don't get an actual poem each day, like you seem to.

Have a great rest of your summer!!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Unknown. Glad they are of some inspiration.

I wonder, wonder who you are?