Saturday, August 18, 2012

Furious Versions

73º ~ rain, cloud cover, cooler temps, relief, actually got out and put on my favorite old sweatshirt

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.

Click for link


Michelle said...

CSB sweatshirt? And thanks for reminding me of that Li Young Lee poem. :)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Iowa! And you are welcome!

Michelle said...

My *other* favorite sweatshirt. Good choices, both.

Molly said...

Sandy I so admire your persistence with the weather book. And I've learned so much from reading about your process. Thanks for all you share - it's inspiring!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Molly! Persistence is my middle name.

Tawnysha Greene said...

Love the new title!

Sandy Longhorn said...


Diane Lockward said...

Good luck with the manuscript. Re the title--usually when I can't decide between two titles it's because neither is the right one. But sometimes I get to a new title, the one that is right, by fusing the two together.
The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths and In a World Made of Such Weather as This--I like them both and think you might have 30 minutes of fun rearranging the words, eg, Girlhood Myths or Prairie Weather.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Diane! Great tactic.