I finished the first draft of the Phaeton poem today. Ten pages long, but I haven't yet decided whether or not I need to cut it, though I know I will keep revising for a while. There's something to be said for letting a narrative take the writer and (one hopes) the reader to some new place, for not jumping directly into the exciting part but gradually unwrapping a structure and its characters.
As Coleridge says,
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,Yet he cannot choose but hear;And thus spake on that ancient man,The bright-eyed Mariner.
Mariner, c'est moi? Well, I've always wanted to hear someone holler, "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!" after reading one of my poems, though I admit such a reaction seems unlikely.
All day yesterday I dealt with apples apples apples apples. Two apple pies, a lot of apple sauce, apples cut up to dry over the woodstove, and I still have half a bushel left to deal with in some as yet unknown fashion. I also made grape butter, which turned out to be surprisingly delicious even though it does smell exactly like Welch's grape jelly. (The texture and flavor are much better, however.)
Dinner tonight: fetuccine with chicken, tomato sauce, and wild sheep's head mushrooms (direct from the mountains of Appalachia, thanks to my friend Angela's father); salad with various cold-hardy greens, the last house-ripened tomatoes, kohlrabi, mozzarella, and carrots from the store; apple pie, I'm sure you're surprised to hear.