Saturday 23 August 2008

Difficult Times, Agonizing Poems

The more there's at stake in the poem I'm writing, the more arduous the process. Last night I began writing a poem about the dream I'd had about my father the night before--basically, he was walking as though the injury had never occurred, I was thrilled when I realised the change, but in the next glance I saw him in his hospital bed, as paralyzed as ever. So even in my dreams he can't walk.

After I have a complete draft of a poem, I read it aloud over and over to find and revise any weaknesses. Doing that with this poem was agonizing--at one point, I staggered, and I had to put it aside or I knew I wouldn't sleep.

There's no solution to this dilemma--not to go through the process seems like avoiding the crux, the necessity of the poem. Perhaps I'll try sleeping pills, for a night of unbroken rest.

1 comment:

  1. "even in my dreams he can't walk."
    This is very touching. Your dreams are your truest friend. Real dreams, I mean. When we say 'in your dreams' we mean day-dreams. Which are valuable too in their own right. Your real dreams are honest and (because your own) compelling. They mean well. If you dislike them you could always tweak them a bit, as Maxwell Perkins used to do by reading War and Peace every night before he went to sleep. I'm not counselling this, but it is an option.