Friday, December 14, 2007

A Dark Place: Sorlil's revised draft


A Dark Place

Gravelled highway manned by poplars.
In the far distance memorials rise up:

Russian Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant.
So many children, a school excursion.

A sea of slabs, rectangles like plant beds
but instead outlines of barrack bunks.

The camp guide offers to take
my photo at the gate. It’s smaller than I

imagined. I think logistics:
how did they all fit?

I dreamt of the chimneys in black and white.
And now a daughter of a survivor can’t stop

talking, a town in Bavaria can’t stand
the connotations and you flinch when I say

“I caught the bus from Dachau”.

Poetry in Progress
Sorlil's comments on the revision process

"I've not changed a great deal, mostly just the format. I can't say I'm particularly happy with it, it feels rather bland and screams of being exactly what it is - an exercise poem!

Interesting exercise nonetheless. I tend to work more methodically even on first drafts and perhaps I need to practice 'loosening up' to allow the poem room to grow before constraining it with a critical eye."

You can read the first draft of this poem here.

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