2 September 2014
A few Sundays ago I spent an afternoon sifting through my notebooks and lots of first drafts. I made several outlines of what I have so far, trying to find some coherence–perhaps even progression–in my poems. A big chunk of what I have written was seven, eight years old. Maybe even older than that. But surprisingly I have a considerable number of new ones (I’m talking recently, which in my timeline means as far back as two years). I haven’t been as lazy (and hopeless) as I thought!
The hours went by. By midnight I have, more or less, segregated my work into piles, and I have a clearer picture of what I have written, what interested me, what I believed in, all these years. I have a better understanding of what I am writing about now. It’s been a long time since I did this, and I have to admit that it was a little bit lonely, too, going at it alone. But I was happy to do it–to be able to discuss with myself all of these with a clarity (and maturity?) that I didn’t have when I was eighteen, or twenty-five. I feel (somewhat) accomplished. I feel like I have an agenda (finally!). I have an idea of what I am going to do in the next few months–that part is done. Now, on to the doing.
You often talk about your mentor(s), and consultations about your poems. What does it feel like for you? How do you go about your writing, or your PhD? I sometimes imagine you standing in front of a labyrinthian master plan, your very own Ariadne.
I hope you are making space for what makes you happy, as I am.