Sunday, October 19, 2014

The temperature dropped precipitously overnight, and this morning I started a fire in the wood stove. Today is the day to tear out sunflowers, dig up dahlias, plant garlic, haul brush, stack firewood. I've been reading the short stories of Elizabeth Bowen, still reading Levertov, still not exactly writing yet, but filled with the sensation of words blossoming. I will be patient. I keep telling myself this, and someday it may be true.

People often tell me, after I tell them a story, "Oh, that should be in a poem!" and maybe it should, but I can't write poems in that anecdotal way. The poems may be stories, but they surface from somewhere beneath story.

This morning I am drinking black coffee and watching the last of the browning maple leaves float down, down from the near-naked twigs, and I am struck again by the way in which my persistent need to describe what I see is not the same as my internal, explosive need to make a poem. I don't want to write a poem about those leaves, but those leaves might turn up in a poem. Perhaps this difference isn't clear as explanation, but I feel it.

I love Sundays, when everyone else is still asleep, and the early light filters through the early air.

The wood stove clicks. The small birds flock to the feeder. I have written down these details a thousand times; and here they are again. But they are not my poem. 

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