Learning by Doing

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

The more a writer uses Tinderbox, the more the writer learns from revision and rethinking. This is not a hypothesis. With a few writing spaces open and explicit links open to scrutiny, the thought process changes.

And so I’ve changed a lot over the last few days. In my most recent poem, called describing the moon now, the focus has changed from narrative poem to something more kin to a nature walk, observational, referential, and wide angle. Originally, I wanted to trace how a note written a long time ago would make its way back to the end. But after some intensive revision, the necessity of this diminished. In some areas of the poem the note matters. In others, the language moves to objects and landscapes, people, and events in the life of the speaker.

I wanted a note to follow is an intention. But the energy is not following. In the poem, I have an image of the speaker considering images of old men cupping small flames in their hands. Going after this sort of surprise has become much more fun than trying to keep to defined narrative.


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