Now that I am nearly finished with the 7 Sonnets in 7 Days I’m looking back over the past six days work and coming to some conclusions.
First, they all need work, and they’ll get it, but not yet. One of my own personal rules is to publish them as I write them, and not to do any significant rewrite until after all seven are done. (I say “significant rewrite” because I have gone back to correct typos.)
Starting next week, I intend to workshop them all and prepare (it is to be hoped) improved versions. I don’t have a timeline for that, but I do have every intention to do all seven.
In particular my scansion needs serious work. I tend to write to music, and the rhythm of language is very important to me. I grew up reading poetry and I am convinced that an early exposure to classical poetry has shaped the structure of my prose. Matching the pacing and flow of the words to the action described is, I feel, vital to the descriptive process.
When I read this group of poems, though, I find my self tripping over some awkward phrasing. I intend to fix that.
But I also find the subject matter that I have chosen interesting. Another rule I set for myself was not to plan them out in advance, to let the subject flow from the writing. Both yesterday’s and today’s were inspired by other people’s comments, but I didn’t plan them out in advance.
So I find myself dealing with some more serious issues in these poems than I had intended.
Another reason to recommend this exercise to other writers. It’s funny what comes out when you focus on form and let the content just happen.