Wednesday 9 July 2008

Fishless lake

I managed to miss writing this blog yesterday. How did that happen?

Have read more May Sarton, more Nelly Sachs (painful). Finished a book (prose) someone lent me, which I should have refused, it was their desire to lend more than my desire to read... and then I feel obliged to read it and it takes up time when I should be reading verse. A reminder to myself.

Have spent the morning working on my kitchen poetry, the pig on the wall, the child with the cake. It is sweet, but how good is it? A bit of froth...Hallmark quality? I have no idea, can't judge. The poem about the bowl of fruit has turned into something better, gradually.

Have worked on the villanelle about Kristalnacht: it is losing its villanelle shape, which I regret, I found the repeated verses valuable for a lamentation, and I like the authority conferred by the form, the right to use that structure. In the process of fiddling with it irritably this morning I had an insight as to where I could go with it, like a door slightly ajar, what it is that is waiting to be said. That was good.

Sometimes I want to throw it all away. At times I feel arid, lacking. A writer once said to me, that's the work of the writer, to confront the obstacle and carry on. The torrent with the boulders in it, to be navigated with concentrated effort, the peaceful lake at the end of the journey.

Tramping a year ago in the South Island, we came over a ridge of mountains to find a beautiful isolated lake where no fish lived. SJ said so and he is a fisherman. It seemed a great waste.

This is a bit rambly, like my free-flowing stuff. Enough for today.

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