Yeat's Paradox & A Note on Process
-Anthony Hecht, "The Contrariness of Impulses," in On the Laws of the Poetic Art (Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 145.
I managed to get down a longish draft of an imaginary letter from Martin Johnson Heade to an American woman he was certainly attracted to, and with whom he may have had an affair while he was in Brazil. I seem to be able to carry these longer poems around in my head while working on the shorter lyrics, imagining and re-imagining the longer piece as I go, then getting the body of the poem down at length and in one draft, over the course of several hours.
I then go back and work through them over the course of a couple of weeks, let them rest for a while and come back again and again, trying to make the poem, somehow, right.
I am having a bit of luck here and don't want to break it; don't want to walk away from the work and lose the thread of the poem.
I don't much care right now if these poems are seen as the "diversions of an idler."