Monday, November 03, 2014

lamppost addendum

moving the words around,
choosing them carefully
to tell the true story
the way it always happened
            The draft for what has become The Old Lamppost was written forty years ago, it was one stanza in a much longer poem. Last week I pulled it out and began to develop  it.  (I save all my papers.)  I worked many hours and have several revisions,  I thought about putting them out  somewhere so other poets could see what went on to get the finished product.  When I read other poets I think I'd like to see their drafts to get an idea what they were doing when they worked things out.  . 
                        I was fortunate to hear David McCullough  last year give a talk to a small group at the American Academy in Rome,  and he gave a good lesson when he said,  "I'm not a writer, I am a re-writer." 

Sunday, November 02, 2014

the old lamppost

for many years at the curb
in front of our house on main street
there used to be a large, rusty-repainted,
decorative, cast-iron street lamp

that i clipped grass around during summer,
raked dry leaves around in the fall;
the pole was dark, the paint was dull,
the light from the lamp was dim;

and you know, now and then
on some quiet, still evenings
when the windows were open i'd hear
a car stop, then a bang, and someone swore
when they opened their door on the lamppost.