Friday, January 27, 2006

The Making of a Poem

By Stephen Spender

Collections of essays about poetry. I am reading the second chapter "Greatness of Aim" right now and it is filled with much common sense regarding the poet's aim, using Dylan Thomas and WH Auden as examples to do so. Nice follow through after the first chapter's discussion of poets stuck in the "cage of contemporary attitudes".

He closes the second chapter with:

The most important task is for the poet to grasp at as much of modern life as he is capable of imaginatively digesting, and turn it into his rich and strange poetry, through channels of form which he can only discover for himself. We do not live in an age of shared values, and a universally recognized style. Talk of universitaires being able to decide the future of poetry by brushed-up academic standards got from lectures on criticism is a trap for the unwary, a trap which all too easily might result in second-rate poetry about second-rate lives.
He saw the decade of the 1960's clearly on the horizon and was seemingly open to its possibilities. I haven't read enough of him yet to know how he would judge what a second-rate life actually is. Next chapter is the title chapter. More later.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lost amongst the layers

Yes! I found my maps. I had made maps of buildings and the town in which my story takes place. I had misplaced one of the building maps and the house map and just found them as I was paging through some notes. This pleases me greatly. I like the visual advantage the maps give me, allowing me to remember, plot time and path.

I have multiple copies of the printouts of the story. As I edit, I make the corrections and then print a new fresh copy for later and file the defiled copies. The maps were lost amongst the layers.

Also, sidebar. Nabokov wrote many short stories. I picked up a copy of his stories today at the bookstore. I have read two so far. He writes a Russia that I would want to know. Often times, I cannot connect with Russian lit, it just doesn't seem welcoming for the reader. His stories do very much. The people are so wonderfully human. Recruiting, specifically. Now I just have to figure out his acrostic at the end of The Vane Sisters (without children dropping parachutes around me) and I will be set.

So back to my notes. At least the binder is open. It is a start. A small start back to this story.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to this blog who turned a big shining one year old yesterday. Yes, its mom missed its birthday, but dealing with one year olds is much work. And it was Jan 7 when I made my first real post, rather than a cursory testing, testing post. /excuses

I assumed I would have more to say about such an important date. I wish I could say I was busy writing but that would be wrong. I wish I could say the story is flying to me, me catching the words and capture them permanently in ink, or pixels, but that would be in error also. I am reabsorbing. I have been off the writing game for a bit. I realized that when I sent Trapper on vacation, I needed one too. To fill up again. I can’t spill forth without a little pressure from below. And when I don’t fill the pressure, not much flows. So here I am, one year plus, November really when this all started. This blog began last year as a way to track the story’s progress. I have. April interrupted that but not in a negative way. It showed me many things, April did, spring flowers and other clich├ęs I will refrain from drawing upon.

It is funny because although I am not writing much more than bits for this story these days, these bits are floating around and gathering and winnowing. I am working out where I want this to go by these floating chunks. They tend to be blocks of text rather than dialogue. So they feel weighty even if they do float. So I will leave them to their business doing the work they do. I can give up this power, delegate it to whatever is prompting my connection to these characters. I do trust this. I really like these characters. I think their interactions are interesting and common and beautiful. What we all have. Just a guy. I said this elsewhere today, and I think it epitomizes my lead character. It is how I start the story also. Oooh spoilers. We can only be who we are, mingled with the joy of learning and striving and leaning on those we know and love to help us along our way. I have known this all along, but Trapper is just learning that fact. I am pleased to be able to help him along and maybe even hold his hand.

Thanks for reading!