On 15/1/05 12:22 PM, "Andrew Burke" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> For some reason, writing poems is almost a secular version of a sacred act
> for me, and I go into a different state. That is why I have to banish such
> states while I am writing a novel. Do you find this? (Perhaps I see novel
> writing in a classical sense and poems in a romantic way - that'd explain
I'm finding this whole question kind of obsessive at the moment. It's
partly because this project (aka The Novel) has taken me so much longer to
write than the other ones - it's currently a year later than I would have
liked. And because it's something I have to complete, it basically
dominated most of 2004, even though I didn't write it most of the time.
Admittedly it was interrupted by editing two other novels, but it wasn't
just that... I wrote the other two by just going for it - three months of
sitting down and doing my words. But this one has been much more difficult,
partly I think because I had this crazy idea I could simply write straight
after I finished the other one and partly because it is just a more
Also, I gave up smoking. All that time I couldn't write a bloody word.
I've started again, alas, and am now writing fine. I am facing the strong
possibility that my entire writing life has been a nicotine-fuelled drug
Anyway... One result of TN (The Novel) has been that I'm feeling starved of
poems. Novels are big black holes, they suck everything into their orbits.
And while I kind of miss that all-encompassing feeling when I finish them, I
also really need to write poems, for some kind of inner mental ecology.
They don't get banished - the impulses that might otherwise be poems get
mixed up in the great turbine that is The Novel. But of course, then
they're not poems. I'm finding the prose kind of surges between what might
be called good, plain English, the kind of getting the job done prose, and
then little emotional/lyric peaks that can only be called poetic, even if
they're not poetry. I think that's where the poetry is going. But I feel
it's a little unfair on it, and the poetry seems to think so too. It's
taking its revenge on me, and if I don't spend a few poetic months staring
out of windows soon, I don't know what will happen (insert smiley thing).
It's really such an odd way to spend one's life.
Ah well, freedom in a couple of weeks...
It's been some years since I read Billy The Kid, but I remember liking it a
lot. I'll have to drag it out and have another look.
All the best
Editor, Masthead: http://masthead.net.au
Home page: http://alisoncroggon.com