Tuesday, June 19, 2007

True confession

I think I'm starting to spend more time writing for this weblog than I am spending on poems. As you can tell, even that isn't very much time.

(I do tend to nag at me.)

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I thought about a hooked rug that I started in seventh grade. Note that I said started.

My mom helped me buy the backing and skeins of yarn and the tricky little hook with the wooden handle, and I used a piece of cardboard backing from a package of rick-rack to wrap the yarn around and then cut along the edge so that I would have little pieces of equal length, and I drew my design and started to hook the yarn through the backing. When finished, the rug would have a bright orange background (think: '70s) and a yellow sun with blue eyes and a big smile.

I worked and hooked and worked and hooked and went through a lot of yarn and eventually grew tired and lost interest and that rug was not finished. Years later, my mother thought she'd take it up and get it done (she is a noble woman).

Long story, short conclusion: I do have a habit of leaving projects left undone—even in poetry. I'm thinking about my sharecropper poems, which have been languishing for a while now. And I'm concerned that my Camargue poems may reach the same fate.

That brings up the question: When is a series done?

It needs that emotional arc, and I suspect that I'm also looking for a narrative arc. Somehow, the series needs to finish the story that I'm telling. And plot has never been my strong suit.

Writing your way out of the end of a poem is one thing. But how do you write your way out of the middle of a series?

And, to bring up another subject, how do the poems in the series stand on their own? Or do they need to?

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