Friday, January 20, 2012

How We Think in My Head

Here's my informal (post-it) list thinking about the ms:
sound--I used to only be able to revise if the new line had the same rhythm as the old
intention--the poem's? mine? both?
meaning-ability--or as a poet-friend calls it "aboutness"
coherence (web of)
repeating words

also, order
short/long or maybe density/relief

Usually, by the time I've gotten to the point of putting a manuscript together, I've already banged on the poems and held them up to the light. But there are still little sore spots that I hope can be fixed and the quandaries caused by good criticism. So these are the things I think about, not in the order of importance.

This morning I was mulling over the first three poems. The first poem standing alone outside a section--should I do that? (yes) Deleted 4 words over two poems. Revisited a discussion about the end of "The Lost Predella": I don't dislike either of these [stanzas] but they don't feel like an end. Maybe this [stanza] belongs to another poem? Is it too soft? Should the poem be left in early turmoil? (turmoil--such a great word). . . . Literalizing it is ruining it.

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