Tuesday 24 May 2011

Progress Report - The Long Haul

A while ago, in fact seventeen days ago, I posted this little nugget:

My current poem is definitely approaching the 'end game', although it will probably be several more days before it's completed to my satisfaction. I did a full read-through of all I've done so far and it took me almost exactly 13 minutes, which is long by my standards... and I have long standards! In fact only 'Little Red Ruby's Head' is any longer (24 minutes). Perhaps this one will get close but I doubt it will be any longer.

Evidently my predictions were slightly off, because the poem is now by far the longest work I've ever created. I haven't done a complete read-through from beginning to end because, well it's an exhausting task, but I estimate that the poem is now just over 30 minutes long, which certainly breaks the tape in the race to achieve a 'long' poem.

However, when I say 'end game' now, I'm not just approaching it, I am definitely in it, writing the final dramatic scene, about to bring everything to a conclusion. I could say 'end of the week' but 'end of the month' might be more realistic, given that it's only 7 days away.

I'll be posting the complete poem here as soon as it's finished, and before I record the audio for my YouTube channel, so for the almost-zero people who read this blog, you will be the first to know about it.

How much am I enjoying writing this poem? Every day, whenever a new verse has been completed to my satisfaction, I read it out loud and, knowing that it's exactly what I wanted to write, it's an amazing feeling. I smile. I sometimes clap, in an embarrassing, child-like manner! And I realise that the 3, 4, 5 or more hours I spent forging 6 lines of perfection was time well spent. That's why I write poetry. That's the feeling I miss when I'm between poems, searching for a new one.

In fact it's almost tempting to make the poem longer, so that this feeling never goes away, but in the same way that I can't predict how long the poem will be, I also cannot in any way influence its length. I know how it will end. I write towards that ending. How long that takes, how many lines, how many verses, how many days, are all things out of my control. I'm also now wanting to get to the end, because the anticipation of the feeling of achievement I get whenever a piece of work is complete is starting to become unbearable!