Small Stone for 30 June, 2022

One of the things that always fascinates me is process. How did that little gem of a poem get from its inception, the spark that caught the poet’s attention, that made her stop, bend down, scrabble through the debris of her thoughts, pick up that hunk of crystal and take it to the lapidary workshop of her mind, to study it, find the cleavage planes, fracture off what wasn’t needed, laboriously grind away at it to fix the facets, and polish them until they caught the light just right. That’s one of the things that frustrates me about poets. Like a calculus exam. It’s not enough to come up with the right answer. I want to see their work. The editing, the crossings out, the winnowing and rewording. And then I want to hear them read it aloud, to breathe their own breath into the words and make them live.

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