I’ve just returned from a poetry conference in the Ozarks. It’s the twenty-seventh time poets have come together in Eureka Springs, AK to confab and critique at Lucidity. The gathering is aptly named. It’s all about the craft and how to smooth, polish and clarify poetry.
Instead of our best, they ask for our weakest work. Thrown into an arbitrarily assigned group we read our precious lines to relative strangers and await their suggestions. The process is humbling, exhilarating and demanding. It makes me want to revise everything I’ve ever authored and write a dozen new poems.
The first thing I see when I return to my desk is an unrevised lemon. I pick up my pen and chop, prune, dead-head and rename till I figured out what I really want to say. I’m counting it my poem for the day because it took longer to rewrite than compose something new:
When Women March: With A Grateful Nod to Sojourner Truth