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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Potential Poems

For a few weeks I've been working on a poem that has such potential. And that's all it has at this point--potential. The idea is so good; it fits so well with the theme I am working on, but it is based on a phenomenon not well known, so it takes some explanation before the imagery makes any sense. As a result, each draft I write is too prose-y, with too much explication. This is not a new problem for me, but none of the ways I have solved it before are working this time. Which is the beauty of poetry: each new poem has to be solved in an original way.

But it's really frustrating.

So today I had an idea to go look at an old failed poem for ideas, and when I opened up the folder of old failed poems, on the top was a poem that had come so close back in the fall but had a fatal flaw (this was not the poem I was looking for though). Too bad, I thought to myself, rereading this failed poem; it came so close, except for that--

Wait a minute! I know how to fix that now. And suddenly I saw a way around the old problem; it required a radical fix but it would solve everything. Forty-five minutes later, I had finished that abandoned poem. But still hadn't made any progress on the poem I had been stuck on first this morning.

So maybe it's time to put it away. Maybe in some months the solution will be as obvious to me as the solution to fall's failed poem was today. Maybe it's time to let my unconscious mind cogitate on the matter.

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