Am back home today, recovering from the cold, and cleared the desk. The revisions for MAGDALENE are done and today I printed out my work calendar for the next several months, x-ing out my out-of-town dates and sabbaths. What’s left are the work days, and I jotted down exactly what I had to do on each of those days . . . and it all fits perfectly. Whew.
Now . . . in today’s mail I found a copy of a book I’d ordered–THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY, by Billy Collins. Wow. I sat down to read a couple of poems and was instantly swept away to afternoons when I used to sit on my front porch swing in Virginia and read poetry. I love poetry, I really do, but I haven’t read it in a long time. Haven’t written it in a long time, either, because, frankly, it doesn’t pay to write poetry these days. I write for a living, and I don’t know how poets manage to pay the mortgage.
But there’s something about the elegant simplicity of poetry . . . the snapshots of clean images evoked in only a few words. Made me want to take my book out onto my current front porch and rock a while, just readin’ and thinkin’ . . .
Poetry is good discipline for a writer’s soul. I’m sorry I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading and writing it. So thanks, Billy Collins, for reminding me.
Tomorrow: I begin work on THE ELEVATOR.