Sunday, April 18, 2004

There are poems you write & give to people & say "Read this". & there are poems you write & give to people & say "Please read this & tell me what you think of it". Generally the first are the ones you're happy with. The second tend to be poems that you're unsure of, that can best be summed up by that Punch cartoon from the nineteenth century that has a Curate having breakfast with his Bishop & responding to the latter's observation that his subordinate has just been served a rotten egg with "Oh no, my Lord, I assure you parts of it are excellent".

&, of course, there are sub-categories – poems that you submit for the sake of submission knowing full well that they're not worthy of the act; or poems A, B & C are pretty good, so let's just slide in poem D to ride on their backs.

I've been working on a poem loosely linked to a Magritte painting called The Cicerone. Longish, made up of several parts, having more to do with the title than the painting. It has one longer section, the first written, which is the critical one, the core of the poem. The other sections I would classify as being akin to the photos a tourist takes of village life before & after the festival which was the main purpose of the visit. Background detail. I've worked on them, re-arranged, added, subtracted &, indeed, parts of them are excellent. But most of them don't stand alone, & as an entirety detract from the main section of the poem which is self-sufficient & the only one that derives directly from Magritte.

I posted an earlier, very similar, version of the main section to As/Is some time back. & now, after consideration & after critiques on the entire piece from Michele Leggott & Tom Beckett – Tom direct, Michele more circumspect – for which I thank them immensely, the trimmed back to the core Cicerone has now been posted to Series Magritte.

I’d also like to thank Jean Vengua for her bounce-back on the earlier posting to As/Is & for her even-earlier bounces-back & which, judging by the subtle references, I'm very gratified to see she remembers. I remember them with much pleasure, & with pride for having in part provoked them.

No comments: