Poem in process
Kei Miller - 2 March 2010
I've been toying with this idea for the past week - to present to you a poem in process. I always chicken out. Sharing a poem in its early stages is not something we should generally do - they often start out quite badly, and with me I often take several wrong turns to begin with before I figure out what it is I really want to do, and what is it the poem can do. But maybe this process might be useful to some of the students who pass through - to see some of the ideas I try out and then discard...
It's a perfect time to do this experiment because I've just been asked to write a poem on 'Bob Marley' for a journal. I would have usually passed on such a commission; I don't think poems about such iconic people usually work and it's a tough challenge to avoid the usual cliches and sentimentality that can creep into a 'tribute' poems.
So, to be honest, I'm not sure if this will work - but each day for the next week, I will try to shape a draft of this poem.
I will begin by listening to some of his music tonight. I know I want the poem (like every poem) to be musical, to be flavoured with the language and faith of RastafarI. That's all I have for now. Tomorrow I'll put down some words.
Feel free to comment and ask questions as I go along.