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The Process of My Poetry

Autumn 2014


When I write a poem, it is all at once, and then I revise it later; but pretty much the thing is formed in my head and then I just write it. Like a song that has to be sung.


Of course, the composition is on the 8-1/2 x 11 legal pad of yellow paper. Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night and stumble to the kitchen counter where the 5x7 yellow pad of paper resides beside a small lamp. I click on the lamp, scribble down the words, click off the lamp, and go back to bed.


Bridget the Beagle then gets up, thinking something is happening, and she must be let outside! Dear Husband tends to that duty.


At breakfast, I retrieve the scrawled thoughts and go over them, but not first thing. The first thing is to conduct some online-retail research, check the email accounts, and drink my cuppa with some toasted Sperlonga and cream cheese. There are times when I look at the scribbled lines of poetry and think: I do not remember writing those words.

But write them I did. They are slightly revised when I type them into a computer file; a few days later I edit them, sharpening them like an exquisite blade of beauty for the heart to feel quite painlessly. I cannot predict when a poem is “bubbling up” within me, but I can attest to the fact that when I must put the bubbles to words, other things are happening: cooking, exercising, scrubbing the tub, putting on makeup, brushing my teeth. For me, creativity requires multi-tasking.


Dear Daughter is beginning her Master’s Adventure; she is going to the land where my dreams began. I have therefore purchased stationery for the express purpose of writing to her once a week or so. Opening up the email just does not give a person that cozy feeling! And putting the electronic text into the digital Personal File is just not the same as holding a letter in your hands, and maybe close to your heart.


I shall try to refrain from copying down key phrases from the epistles. I dreaded reading the epistolary novel and so I highly doubt that I shall be creating one at any point in time. There is, I have just learned from online research, the epistolary poem. Yes, indeed, Ovid (Ov-id, not O-vid) first came up with that one. The “aggrieved heroines” (read whining) stating their grievances (whines) to their heroic (perhaps not) lovers.


I shall avoid that form like the plague!