Monday, November 13, 2006

Writer's Diary #10- Alex Colville's Horse and Train Painting (Edited)

Despite my initial reservations with last week's Writer's Club, I woke up this morning feeling better about the whole thing. In fact, some of the more constructive criticisms came back to me and I think I was able to salvage something. Here is an edited version of a poem I posted a while back...


(THEY FORGET ME-
THEY RENDER MY
ESSENCE INTO
VILE GREASE)
TRAIN AGAINST HORSE
AGAINST ME AND
THEY WILL REGRET
THIS.
Someone who had done some riding before pointed out that the rhythm I had chosen initially matched a horse's canter rather than a gallop, as the picture would suggest. Knowing nothing about horse gaits, I checked it up and sure enough, she was right. So I worked on changing this and liked where it took me. Now I think the four syllables per line (with two exceptions) also more closely matches the "chuga chuga" of a train as well.
You'll also notice a few other changes. The most obvious of these is the caps. I told the group that I had wanted to keep the voice slightly ambiguous, and open to several interpretations- the horse, Alex Colville, and God to name but three. The God scenario, as one person pointed out, seemed inconsistent with the initial opening lines, "They do not/ respect me", with "me" being lowercase. However, switching it to a capital "Me" destroyed any other interpretations. So I tried all caps, and liked the urgency it put into the poem. More importantly it left all interpretations in tact.
There are a few more changes as well. "Distill" for instance, was changed to "rendering". I felt it fit better with "grease" and "rendering" of course, has the other connotation of being an artist's work (as in Alex Colville's "Horse and Train" rendering.)

4 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's incredible what a difference all uppercase makes. And yes, render is the perfect word in this case.

I quite like the new background.

John Mutford said...

Why thanks. I was thinking no one liked the new background- things have been so quiet. Perhaps it's a bit pretentious, but it beats the old floral pattern.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think it is entirely suitable! And much more you than the floral pattern...

John Mutford said...

Hey, I say it's "pretentious" and you say it's me? What's up with that? Just kidding. You're right- it is more me. It's funny that you know me so well!