Friday, March 16, 2007


I finished Brigitte Byrd's Fence Above the Sea and was so inspired that I'm trying to write a similar work—inspired by, not the same. Usually, I am wary of repetition, and I avoid using the same word twice in a poem and even very many times in the same group of poems.

But I've been experimenting with repetition more lately (Go ahead, use "blue" twice in the same stanza). With this project, I'm working on weaving some of the same words and, more important, the same motifs, throughout a set of poems—repetition without redundancy.

I also want to weave in phrases of Italian (Byrd knits in bits of French). Because I don't speak Italian, I'm reading Italian poets to pick up phrases (quotes as opposed to plagiarism).

It could end up as one big derivative piece, but it's a challenging project. Because I want all the poems to interconnect in theme and language, I feel like I can't be done with one of them until I'm done with all of them.

In the meantime, it's keeping me busy.

How do you tackle big projects?

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