I'm getting ready to walk the copyedited manuscript over to the post office, to Fed-X "Packing Light" back to the book designer. It took me longer than it should have to mark up the pages. I've been traveling and giving readings, yes, but that's not the rub. It's just hard to look at one's own work with a clear eye, and even harder to edit the early poems. Since this is a compendium of 40 years of poetry writing, some of the work comes from way back. The poems from "Devils Live so Near" and from "In the Great Night" were fierce and uncompromising, largely untroubled with matters of punctuation or capitalization. Now I read my younger poems and want to shape them lovingly. Don't want them to sound stuffy, though. I finally finished copy-editing last night, with a couple glasses of Sonoma County Three Ridge red. (The latter is highly--highly--recommended!)
My friend and great poet Alice Friman wants to see the younger poems just the way they were then, so that she can see the development. But as I read them, I am translating them into more graceful sounds--I can't help it. I want to polish them. The main thing, I know, is to make a decision and let it be--and not to have a mixed bag of different styles in any one period.
I have to remind myself how lucky I am, to have such a great publisher (Black Widow Press), and this open door for my work. So now I'm walking over the post office. And then I'll feel lighter on the way back to the office. And if I cry a little, that will lighten me even more!
Cheers and luck to you in your work! Marilyn
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.