Hello again. You’ll see a lot of me, between today and tomorrow, but I have a response to Joseph Harker’s Reverie #4, which you can find on naming constellations — the prompt, not my response. Joseph asks us to approach the writing of a poem with a specific strategy: to go from seed, to trunk, to branches.
It makes sense to me to show you part of the process, rather than the end result and a ‘how I did this,’ as I usually do.
Branch: she gropes in the dark
Trunk: images form and fade, names dissolve
Seed words: blurred sight and brittle bones slow her down
Trunk: she sits, eyes unfocused, brain scurrying
Branch: life dismantling
I wrote one or two drafts, which I will not take you through, and then the draft where I am now. In the earlier drafts I narrowed the poem’s focus down to one aspect of aging, the gradually shifting memory. After the central portion above, I wrote the stanza which follows and then the stanza which comes first. Then I separated out the single lines.
pulled for revision
I like where this is going. I am working on a series of poems on my mother, so will appreciate any comments and suggestions. If something doesn’t work for you, let me know. If you think of a word, or anything really, please say. I won’t post a changed draft because of the whole submission thing, but will appreciate any input. Do I need to make her more obviously an older person?
Did you notice that my original seeds aren’t in the draft?
Be sure to visit naming constellations‘ Reverie to read the other responses.
If you are wandering through my blog late in the day, go back a few hours and catch the interview with James Brush.
See you tomorrow, everyone.