Collecting Myself

Lovely spring day here. A little breezy but there is a feel of cobwebs being blown away. The windows are showing up dirt, though, in the brightness.

Once again I’m struggling with the whole notion of getting THE (first) collection together. It just doesn’t feel right to get c.40 poems under one title.

I’m re-reading Pascale Petit’s ‘Towards a Collection’

I first came across her as a translater of Yang Lian’s poetry. In ‘Towards a Collection’ she advises ‘Read poetry in translation; it will broaden your outlook of what a poem can be and do.’

I love, and am unnerved, by reading in translation but there is always the feel that the translater has to strip the poem down to its skeleton and then rebuild it so that it has the same affect to the reader of the translation. It seems to me that a good poem is already a little whittled but not underwritten.

But what I am finding incredibly useful are her suggestions on editing individual poems and how to approach the problem of underwriting. I look forward to experimenting.