Thursday, 8 April 2010

Party fears one

I once read a piece by Hugo Williams saying that, when putting together a poetry collection, he liked to print off each individual poem on a separate sheet, then lay them out on the floor. Then, he added, just like at a party, certain poems would start to gravitate towards others.

It's good advice, although actually pretty hard to achieve in my cluttered house (even a chapbook would be a struggle, if I'm honest - floorspace gets swallowed up at an astonishing rate). But it's worked for me in the past, so I'm doing it again.

Certain poems have started to resolve themselves into little knots, but others are remaining resolutely around the edges. My next task is to decide which of those wallflowers to show the door, and which to entice into the fun and games going on elsewhere. Maybe breaking out the cheese footballs and cava (on special offer down the Co-op just now) will help them shake of their inhibitions...


Carrie Etter said...

I do something like that myself; it rather worries me that HW does that, too. ;)

I don't necessarily think that the ones on the margins are to be shown the door--it may be that they operate differently in the manuscript, talking between groups of poems, for example. The cava's a good idea, nonetheless...sorry I can't join you!

Matt Merritt said...

Oh they certainly won't all get the axe, but some slimming down is definitely needed.

They're stuck all over the walls now. I'm going to get some strange looks when the gas man comes round to service my boiler later.

Matt Merritt said...

Actually, I don't think now that it was HW. Can't remember who it actually was, though - I think it might have been in that book Don't Ask Me What I Mean