Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Learning from Ron Offen

Carried away by our April Poetry Month Festival in
Santa Barbara, I haven't found my way back here in
a while.

Thought today I'd register a thank-you to Ron Offen,
editor of FREE LUNCH, who's one of those rare guys who
gives critique when you offer him a submission, I don't
know how he finds the time.

He accepted one poem of mine the other day after helping me
fiddle here and there with improving changes, and took me
in hand about another, where he loved the concluding stanza
but not the one leading up to it, his note turning me on
to a course of re-writing.

Have a glance at these two for the contrast.

ORIGINAL VERSION:

FALL AWAY

I looked everywhere
but could not find myself
until I sensed your inward sense
that once was only beauty
of the body.

We are a thirst that drinks itself.
We are the ringing and the bell
as we fall away
as we fall away
like water.


REVISED VERSION (responding to Ron's urging as to
the need for a stronger, more integrating "set-up"):


FALL AWAY

Thoughts pass through us
invisibly as breath.
We have no need to find ourselves
who learn to trust an inward sense
beyond the beauty of the body.

We are a thirst that drinks itself.
We are the ringing and the bell
as we fall away
as we fall away
like water.

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4 Comments:

At June 1, 2007 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Marty said...

Where'd you go. It's already June. Feed us.

 
At June 2, 2007 at 10:13 PM , Blogger derek said...

this is a blog-drop: if you are reading this i regularly read you. please check out http://fourw.tumblr.com/

submissions close at the end of june.

 
At June 4, 2007 at 6:36 PM , Blogger John Guzlowski said...

Barry, I've had similar experiences with Ron Offen. Sometimes his comments make better poems, sometimes not. What do you think it was that moved you to write that better stanza?

 
At June 6, 2007 at 10:37 AM , Blogger HEDVAH said...

hi Barry: Remember me? hedvah Lang Shuchman fromthe Penn Literary Magazine 1952? I found your blog by sheer accident (I was looking for someone else named Barry who has been publishing my pieces on global warming on his blog without my permission) Glad to see you are still writing. So am I , Best wishes- Hedvah

 

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