Proof 1

November 15, 2009

Well I have gone over my manuscript and sent in the corrections after proof reading the First Draft. Somehow the italics got lost in the process of submission (when I experimented with fonts) so I had to find all the bits of Latin, onomatopoeia, and emphasis to fix. Also there were a lot of improperly rendered Em dashes and I added a colon or two.

With poetry, there’s not as much restructuring possible as with other published forms. Poetic license essentially means that language to the poet is like clay to the sculptor; it can’t be said that this particular moulded ridge or this phrase is wrong, only the author can dictate its shape and message.

Writing these poems was rather like the process of sculpting, actually. Each poem idea started out as a solid block of feeling and topic. I blurted out the words and created a rough form. Then I chiseled away at the words to get at that perfect form hidden within. One has the sense, with sculpture, that that form was hidden inside there all along, and the sculptor just cleared out the extra material to unearth it. I feel that way about poems. The poem exists in this essential form, and I have to move the words out of its way until it’s saying exactly what it means with each particular word in the perfect place. As I read and reread the proofs of my book, I’m continually amazed at how the words are just how I want them to be. It’s like each poem is a little, whole person.

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One Response to “Proof 1”

  1. Julie Says:

    “As I read and reread the proofs of my book, I’m continually amazed at how the words are just how I want them to be.”

    That has to be a most welcome feeling. Best of luck with your book.


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