9:40 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Johan Pachelbel’s Canon
Hello, all. Fall fast approaches [conversely, so does Spring, for some of you]. I love the drop in temperatures that happens at this time of year. Did you know that you can look up the winter’s long-range forecast by The Farmers’ Almanac? You can even do it by your state. For the overall this year, they say, all of us at the Farmers’ Almanac suggest you stock up on firewood, sweaters, and hot cocoa. It certainly looks like another long winter of shivery and shovelry is on tap. I’m adding red wine and vodka to the list; otherwise, I’m ready. Meanwhile, today’s links:
1] We have the next installment of Jeffrey Levine’s On Making The Poetry Manuscript–New and Improved, Part III, his updates to the original article, written in 2011. He begins each post with the original post and goes from there. Whether, or not, you ever plan to put together a chapbook, or longer collection of poems, doesn’t really matter. Levine’s comments apply to writing: Poetry inhabits an enormous house, infinitely expanding to accommodate each of our unique sets of concerns—and we keep raising the roof and busting out the kitchen walls in order to make room for the ways in which we go about expressing and exploring what matters to us as writers. He writes with empathy, directness and humour, lots of humour.
2] If I have a humourous piece, I usually save it for the last bit of serendipity, but I am asking you to read two fairly hefty articles, idea-wise, today, so the humour will go between. Many of you know McSweeney’s (already I hear the rustle of anticipation.). In the article Selections From H. P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter, by Luke Burns, we are given descriptions of a box of chocolates as if written by Lovecraft. Talk about a wonderful exercise in voice. If I were still teaching, this would become a lesson. If you need to continue distracting yourself from your daily round, pick a writer with a distinctive style and give this a try: put together a sampler of chocolates. Really.
3] Our final link is to an article on Connotation Press‘ site. While you are there, you might wander around. Our link is to John Hoppenthaler’s article on revision in A Poetry Congeries With John Hoppenthaler: September 2014. Don’t groan. You know that’s when a poem really happens, in revision. What I like, in particular is Hoppenthaler’s link between engaging with poems and the revision of his own poems: These things help me to locate those places I should begin to revise; they help me learn how to be a better poet. Or I don’t learn how to be a better poet, but at least the process helps me to understand why I make—or don’t—the decisions I have to choose from as a poet. I taught with the same viewpoint he has and found that I looked at my own poetry with a different eye after teaching the how of a poem. Discovering how others’ poems work played, still plays, a crucial role in the development of my own writing.
Right, that should keep you out of trouble for a bit. I will see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; next Tuesday for our image prompt; and next Thursday for… you guessed it, links.
Happy writing, everyone.