Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Can a Poem's Cry be Replaced?

Can you take the engine from a poem, leaving the bodywork intact, and put in a new one. Will the images stand up to it?

I don't think it's lazy to quit editing while you're ahead. I think what we put on paper, the free write or rough draft, is purely cries. Editing will only take its cries out. "A poems veins and capillaries cannot stand up to a heart transplant," but by cutting off an arm, the other arm can become much more skilled. The balance between edited and raw is the hardest balance I've come across yet - and life is only balances. Well, balances and one really good grilled cheese sandwhich with avacado.

1 comment:

Radish King said...

Can you cut out a heart and expect the body to stand?


A good poem is an organic creature, not a car. The lines/stanzas/ideas/noise sprout from each other, are interconnected.


Think of it terms of architecture. What happens when you remove the foundation of a structure? What does the structure lose when the new foundation is in place?


The heart of a poem can be removed and a new poem built around it, perhaps, if the poet is skilled and can keep the blood vessels and tissue viable.


Sometimes a poem fails. If the engine/heart/foundation of a poem can be removed and a new one dropped in with little change to the poem, then I would suspect the poem in question.