I spent part of the Easter weekend going through the poems I´ve written since putting together my last collection (Midas Touch, published by Ward Wood Publishing). My main objective was to do fine tuning to those poems that have had time to `settle´. I think that most poets find, as I do, that after the initial process of composition - which may take anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks and involve only 3 or 4 drafts, or closer to 20 - after this process, it´s a good idea to leave the poem alone, forget about it, and then come back to it with fresh eyes and ears. In fact, I usually have several settling periods, followed by tinkering.
So that´s what I was doing over Easter. It also seemed like a good opportunity to take stock. How close am I to having my second collection ready? I spent some time considering each poem carefully, deciding firstly, if I felt it was up to standard and secondly, whether it fitted into the collection as a whole. It´s important to me that the poems in a collection work well together and that there is dialogue between the poems. I want a theme to be dealt with over several poems, allowing for more than one take or point of view. And I´m also very fond of having images and words that recur throughout a collection. In this new collection there are several poems in which stone and rock appear in various forms and several beach, seaside and ship poems. Some of the beach poems also contain pebbles and rocks. There´s an underlying theme of the relativity of perception.
So how many poems have I got ready? I reckon I have 33 that I would want to include in the new collection. That´s a bit over half, I should think. And that means probably about two-and-a-half years before the whole collection is ready. I don´t write very fast.