Friday, November 6, 2009


Only 4 days to go till folio hand in. I find myself in a weird space between not having enough time to rewrite the whole thing (I wonder if anyone has ever tried?) and being sick of tinkering. In fact I constantly have to check that I am not over-editing and removing anything that was interesting about the poem in the first place. It is easy to do that, I think, the bits that your editor brain seems to think don't fit are often the lines that make a poem wonderful. The clunky, unfortunate, slightly baffling sections. Sometimes happy accidents, sometimes where the sound of the words have taken over from the narrative. It's tempting to try and smooth all those parts out, make some kind of homogeneous ball.

I saw on Myth Busters a few weeks ago, there is a craft where people polish balls of dung into shiny ornaments (these are called dorodango or happy mud balls in Japan). It takes days of polishing with your hands - apparently it is the oil from your skin that helps bring up the sheen as well as help draw out the excess water, but eventually you get this pretty brown ball that looks a bit like glazed pottery.

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