Today's title references Li-Young Lee's poem "Furious Versions," which appears in The City in Which I Love You. Section 6 begins:
It goes on and it goes on,
the ceaseless invention, incessant
constructions and deconstructions
of shadows over black grass,
while, overhead, poplars
rock and nod,
wrestle No and Yes, contend
moon, no moon.
The poem is an ars poetica but also covers the way we are constantly revising our own realities. I love it as a metaphor for living and for working on individual poems and larger manuscripts.
This morning, I've spent a good chunk of time making line edits in the former weather book and tweaking the order I mentioned here. Once I felt like I had the order down, I re-built the Table of Contents. I know some folks like to code their titles so that MS Word or another program will build the ToC for them. Truthfully, that's more than I can keep track of as I input the poems in the file, so I end up retyping it. After all these years, I have a template with the right tabs to help me along. In the end, I'm fond of this retyping as I get a different angle on how the sections & order are working.
Today, this retyping also helped me name the sections and eventually helped me come up with my new title. There are still weather poems and elegies in this new "furious version" but there are now fairy/haunting/cautionary tales, saints, and cartography poems. The good friend who helped me reorganize, also helped me search for a new title. Combining some of my own ideas and hers, I've come up with The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths. I don't know yet if this will stick, but it is clear that In a World Made of Such Weather as This will no longer serve.
Thanks to Wikimedia Commons, here's a page from a Russian children's book that suits the mood of the work done on the mss. today.
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