Drafting: “If I Loved Her,” “Shadows,” & “If I Were A Compass

Despite the fact that I’ve been writing three pages a day in the morning for The Artist’s Way, I’ve still been able to write a poem draft everyday for this unofficial-poem-a-day-for-some-length-of-time thing I’m doing.

These drafts are starting to develop a story I’m really interested in. The last seven have been about a man and his complicated relationship with a woman who is either physically or emotionally absent. I’ve never written so many poems that seem to have the same characters, so I’m really excited to see how these could work together and if this means (!) a new project. These also have the same form (prose) and style (lyrical), but I wonder if both those things will keep after I go back and edit.

Draft Seven (“I Loved Her”): This poem works as both an introduction to the man and how deeply he felt for this woman, who is no longer living. My favorite line: “…she came washed in smoke, her hair braided with ash twigs.”

Draft Eight (“Shadows”): This poem started from the prompt, “Write a poem using the words: honey, snake, and thaw,”  and while those words were a great place to start, I had trouble finding a story to connect them together, so I just started writing whatever came to mind from those words. For that reason, the poem doesn’t have any grounding until the last couple of lines when I was finally like, “OH!” My favorite line: “Watch her comb her hair with her teeth.”

Draft Nine (“If I Were A Compass”): This poem started from the prompt, “If I Were_____.” Like all of the other poems, this one’s very lyrical and makes some strange jumps. For example, “Let us burrow where the dark turns indigo, where your hair grows on me like moss.” This one was harder to keep working through. I wanted to stick to the comparison of the speaker to a compass, but my writing self kept being like, “But compasses are BORING! Let’s do THIS! or THIS!” and my other, more logical self was like, “No! That doesn’t sound like a compass at all! Compasses point and are metal and stuff!” And then my writing self threw in some ankles and winter branches and animal blood and was like, “HA! COMPASS THAT!”

It’s still going, folks. Woo hoo!

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3 thoughts on “Drafting: “If I Loved Her,” “Shadows,” & “If I Were A Compass

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