Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How I Write: A Round Robin Blog Tour

 This is an English Robin.  A round one at that! 

  This was taken by missfortune11, and more of her lovely photographs may be found at Deviant Art.

 This post is part of a Round Robin Blog Tour.

Step One:  April Lindner involved me in the blog tour this year. If you didn’t see her contribution, you can read it at:

Step Two   My writing process:

1.     What am I working on?   Just a few days ago I sent off a newly polished manuscript.  Now I am working on a relatively new manuscript… would be book eight, maybe…  poetry . The working title is  To Wake to Full Daylight.

2.     How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
 This particular manuscript will contain many religious poems.  I hope that my way of writing religious poems is unique to myself – the images and forms.  Also, some of these poems spring from my teaching work on “Women of Faith” in the Catholic tradition.  I’m writing about some women who haven’t appeared in poems ( that I know of )  like  Saints Macrina  and Perpetua  and Appollonia, and the Old Testament women Hagar and Leah… among others.

  Hagar and Ismael, by Francois Joseph Navez

icon of Saint Appollonia

    3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love words, and love making poems. Because these subjects have caught my imagination.  Because I have a voice.

4.     How does my writing process work?
I am ashamed at how undisciplined I am, and how I get mired in writer’s block.  But once I get going, I write the way Dylan Thomas described in comments about his own poetry to his friend Henry Treece: 

In answer to the criticism that his poems are diffuse, the poet replies : ... a poem by myself needs a host of images, because its centre is a host of images. I make one image,?though "make" is not the word, I let, perhaps, an image be "made" emotionally in me and then apply to it what intellectual and critical forces I possess?, let it breed another, let that image contradict the first, make, of the third image bred out of the other two together, a fourth contradictory image, and let them all, within my imposed formal limits conflict. Each image holds within it the seed of its own destruction, and my dialectical method, as I understand it, is a constant building up and breaking down of the images that come out of the central seed, which is itself destructive and constructive at the What I want to try to explain and it's necessarily vague to me is that the life in any poem of mine cannot move
concentrically round a central image; the life must come out
of the centre; an image must be born and die in another…

 ( p.434 in “Unsex the Skeleton: Notes on the Poetry of Dylan Thomas” by Marshall W. Stearns)

Obviously I am not the genius that Thomas was,  and never will be… but some of that same process is at work, and his description is the best I’ve come across.

I am sorry to say that this thread of the Blog Tour ends with me.  I asked one poet, who declined because of previous commitments, and two others, who never replied back. And I didn’t have the gumption to go searching for more.  So sorry.  But I know this isn’t the only thread.  So if you go back to April’s entry, you can follow the tour through Bernadette McBride, or though the poet who invited April,  Ann E. Michael.  Please do check them out!

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