This desire for the new season has pushed me to work on editing my poems for my book of poetry project since my overall theme is nature and the seasons. Also, I had so much fun playing with Haiku recently that I found myself re writing a longer poem as a simple Haiku. I did this because the original poem was unfinished, I was still inspired by it, but I was stuck.
The poem began as an exercise in using descriptive language and words. I wanted to convey the beauty of colors as they change from Summer green to Fall's reds/golds/rusts, etc. My original was a complicated mess and, although I can still remember the exact tree that inspired it, I had lost my direction. To move forward with the piece, I found myself focusing on the image in my memory. I studied the shape and colors, which were in full transition, still displaying Summer while Fall was edging it's way in.
After about an hour of painful rewriting attempts, I used the "strikethrough" feature in Word and crossed out everything, leaving it on the page as a reminder of my failure, as well as a resource for words I still liked. This is when I began reviewing my Haiku notes feeling that a u-turn was called for.
I stared at the formula, 5-7-5, total of 17 and typed "Summer." I stared at that a while, then hit return twice and typed "Fall." I looked at that for a while then started to insert short phrases before and after these words until they formed something meaningful.
My next step was a bit more difficult, I started paring things down to match up with my Haiku formula, 5-7-5, total of 17. I was actually starting to like this poem now. Next I began changing out words to fit and then words that we more descriptive or telling. Yes, I pulled out the old Thesaurus to find shorter or better words. Finally, I had what I thought was my finished piece and read it for my daughter. Her reaction was lukewarm. "You've done better" she said.
So, I picked this up again today, two weeks later, and below is my final product. I like it much better than all of it's previous incarnations.
Summer to Fall
September 8, 2017
Summers luscious greens
Answering Fall’s charming chill
Turn warm, red and gold.
The photo isn't an exact depiction of my original inspiration, however, it does give a sense of the color change that I inspired me in the first place. I think I'm starting to get the hang of Haiku.
Now that I've started, I have to keep the inspiration coming and work on more editing. I don't think it's unreasonable to find new inspiration for a piece when you're editing. Perhaps inspiration is a key ingredient in editing for me that I need to explore some more. I'll share my results with you.
Enjoy the new season and watch for more editing posts. I hope you share your thoughts and/or poems with me in the comments.