'read L. Niedecker for condensation'

As usual, I have the early August insomnia, but I don't mind. This is usually a productive insomnia in which all the things I've put off in the sometimes exciting, often luxuriously lounging month of July finally get done. Like all those file folders I have just sitting in little storage boxes around my room that I always say I'll go through but never do. I'm going through them tonight. And I have found some serious gems.

First, an old poem from 12/27/00, written while my nana was dying in a room nearby at my parents' house. It was part of a packet of potential poems I sent to my old poetry professor from college, the late and great Sylvester Pollet. He was helping me select poems for my graduate portfolio application for an MFA in creative writing. What did he recommend I do with this poem? 'read L. Niedecker for condensation' Did I do this? No, not when he noted I should. Probably about two years after he died, in late 2007, was when I received my order for "The Complete Works of Lorine Niedecker." And oh what an influence she has been on my work as a poet. If only I'd listened to this advice back in 2005! I might be four years ahead in my development as a writer...but I doubt it. I think suggestions occur, "I've heard of but haven't read much yets" happen and then, when it's all supposed to, it falls into place. But the fact that he knew Lorine would be helpful to me all the way back then is a testament to what a great teacher he was.

Here's to unearthing treasures once you stop procrastinating.

Popular Posts