Thursday, 25 March 2021

Jessi MacEachern : part five

How does a poem begin?

As Frank O’Hara writes of process in “Why I Am Not a Painter”: “a / whole page of words […]. Then another page.” In the poem, O’Hara describes the process of writing as one of days going by. My process is very similar. An idea may occur to me (a tiny architect in the palm of my hand) or I may go searching for one (in books, on a walk, by looking quizzically at a stray popcorn kernel on a velvet couch). It begins with words, then pages, written in a notebook. “Days go by.” Sometimes, years go by. Eventually those words, then pages, are typed up and form comes into it. And then it’s begun. Then it’s a poem, or it will be.

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