Wednesday, February 08, 2006

More about How I Write & Giving Marching Orders to the Subconscious

I worked on my new poem last night. Some of the lines I wrote on Sunday have promise, but I think they need reordering. The more I write and the more I understand about the craft of poetry, the higher my expectations are for my own work. I have to be careful about this. This is how I made writing so incredibly painful nine years ago that I all but stopped writing for a number of years. I wrote an Ares Poetica poem about this very experience and used the myth of Sisyphus as the main conceit.

In other news, I am pleased with the revisions that I am making to my five-section poem. I’m thinking that I want to keep the fourth section now that I smoothed over some of the rough spots. Mainly, I’m trying to decide if I should insert some stanza breaks throughout the five sections or leave each of the five sections as one long stanza. I’ll have to show this poem to my poetry coach and get her feedback this weekend.

I like to revise a small group of poems at a time, typically two to three poems. I’ve noticed that some poems call out to me that want to be revised soon while others repel me. I’m guessing that when I look over my list of poems needing revision that my subconscious is telling me that it has something to contribute on a particular poem. This causes me to feel that I want to revise that poem soon. A couple of poems that I wrote last year and haven’t touched since are starting to call to me. I sincerely believe that you can give your subconscious marching orders to work on a problem, and your subconscious will do just that behind the scenes. What you don’t have control over is how long it will take to arrive at a solution to the problem. I picked up this technique of giving the subconscious marching orders from one of Ayn Rand’s books on craft. I think it was in The Art of Fiction (or some title close to that).


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