Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All in one

I like to work on poems in a series.

The other day, I started a free write and I immediately thought about how cool it would be to write a series.

Then I wondered whether that would be diluting my efforts, diluting the poem. If I set out to write six or twelve or forty poems about a subject, am I spreading my idea too thin? What if, instead, I put all the energy and effort and time that I would give to a series on this one poem?

The anxiety is that I will have a whole lot of poems that are completely unrelated to one another and I will never be able to pull them together into a book manuscript. That would be a bummer. But there's a chance that they would be stronger poems. (They might even get published.) That seems like a fair trade. Who knows? Maybe some of those poems will still grow into a series. The point, for me, is not to plan it that way.

So I'll try to stop working so far into the future.

How about you? How do you think about a poem when you begin? How do you think about a project?

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