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I started my writing life as a poet, published a few pieces in University reviews, and then embarked on my life as a professional liar -- which is to say, a writer of fiction.

Every so often, however, I have the same compulsion that used to drive me into the corners of crowded rooms, with scraps of paper and a pen I stole from some bewildered stranger, and I write poetry.

KP and I were discussing poetry tonight. Or rather, we were discussing a collection of poetry which I thought should have been severely edited before it saw print -- because had it been, I would have loved it. I know that poetry is hard to edit -- but oddly enough, while I would not touch a single word of the same writer's -prose- (or most prose, really, as I'm not a line-editor for other's work), I would fiddle all over the place with other's poetry, if allowed.

I'm not sure why. In fact, I'm not sure why I write the poetry, because there is not only no intent to have it published, there is an active intent to have it buried.

Anyone else?


Jun. 19th, 2004 08:23 am (UTC)
Re: it occurs to me
Agreed about narrative and audience. I write to tell stories. My roots as a fiction writer were not with crabbed notebooks in my preteens, but as an oral storyteller to other kids. It's not a coincidence that my only prose fiction sales are fairy tales, because they are, among forms of fiction, the most closely identified with a storyteller's voice.

One thing I like about narrative verse is that, in addition to description and language being concentrated, so is the voice.