September 13th, 2006


the truncated version

Didja ever hear tell that at one point Marianne Moore, in her varyingly-long versions of "Poetry," thought maybe it should stop after not just the first 4 lines, but only the first part of the first line---

  I, too, dislike it.

?  I think I heard that some time. Anyway the idea's been coming back to me recently, as the title I've had in my head has had more than one poem (or beginning of poem, anyway) attached to it in these past coupla weeks, but all that's sticking is the first line. Should it stop there, I ask myself (and now the poetry people among ya), or could the struggle to flesh it out be worthwhile? It's such an aesthetic minefield, its milieu all heavy/Big. (I like to think I could keep it from the maudlin/mawkish, trite, general/Big, but I might be kidding myself about that.) Here 'tis:

    Valediction, Overdue

  Finally, it's just a town

("Scrap the whole thing" is certainly also a suggestion I'd not be offended by.)

but then...

Isn't it no longer a valediction without the element of direct address?

    Valediction, Overdue

  Finally, it's just a town.
  ... ?