Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Road Taken

I just wrote this draft and, to say the least, the final couple of strophes were unexpected to me. I had expected the poem to go on to explore themes of mortality and memory and their effect on the narrator.

However, sometimes a line will come into my head when I'm writing, as if from nowhere, and lead me down a completely different road to the one I thought I was taking. I've learned always to follow it to its conclusion, even if - in revision - I end up chopping the lot. In this case, I probably will, as there's something faintly ridiculous about it, and yet...

Here's the draft as it stands. I'll leave it up for a little while.

** I've now taken the draft down. It needs some work on the diction in the early strophes, which was a touch flat, and the ending needs to be thought out more and given more depth. Some poems never really come right and have to be abandoned, but I think this one should work in the end.


Larry said...

Rob, it's a good poem but the last stroph stinks in more ways than one.

It feels overly serious and the conclusion is trivial. The metaphor of old newspapers to signify the wasting away of the present into the past is cliche.

I'm sure that you'll find the right key to conclude on eventually. I think it should involve the observation of a particular occasion of stories with the old folks to illustrate the general descriptions above.


Rob Mackenzie said...

Thanks for the input, Larry. I'm going to take the poem down now and do some work on it. I think the earlier strophes need sharpened up a bit too.