Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Brown Cow! Leave it to Eddie Izzard to actually try to SPEAK serviceable OE.
Last weekend, I purchased a used copy of the Chickering translation of Beowulf, in the interest of bein groovy and learning to recite in OE. I still remember the first sentence of the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, as it is (and well should be) a rite of passage for any English major worth her salt (many thanks to Prof. Narveson). Before I got blinded by the Broadway-worthy lights of poetry-writing as my primary focus, I had an inkling that I could be good at OLD texts. It's a thought that lingers, but more palimpsest than is an actionable thought at the moment.
This month (and a little of last month), I'm also working at producing a serviceable poem every day. This time around, however, I was invited to participate in a group emailing of said work. So, in addition to having to write something every day, I have to actually share these things with other human beings. More terrifyingly, other poets. I've already experienced numerous embarrassments. I'm not good at first drafts. But, I think the more important point is - no one is good at first drafts. It's nice to see such fits and starts from several very fine poets I know. It's been revealing - what level of polish are we willing to forego before hitting send? For the sake of laziness, I am willing to forego ALL polish.