This is another poem on writing. I recently read a comment on a Facebook group by Patrick Gallagher. He essentially said to “get less precious about your writing, because the magic comes, when you don’t have any choice in the matter.”
Using routines and other tortures to ensure regular writing is something most of us struggle with, I expect. And allowing anyone else to hack our work to pieces (i.e. to edit it) seems a fate worse than death. Hence, this poem, voiced by a writer, who considers his work very precious, indeed.
Hope you enjoy it. And again, thanks for stopping by to read!
My work, it is a sparkling gem.
Worth more, than all my years.
I prize it, like a diadem,
It’s theft, my constant fear.
Each word is pure, inviolate.
No man could it improve.
To edit would be violence.
Much worse, to cut, remove.
So much, I treasure every word,
I hoard it all away.
Like Midas filled a room with gold,
And stayed there, all the day,
So too, I sit alone and write,
And read these measured lines.
The sound brings pleasure and delight
To no one’s ears, but mine.
“You fool!” you say, and steal my pad,
And wield my favorite pen.
“This line is dull, and this one, well!
You’ve said it all, again!
What relevance has all this rot?
What planet do you live on?
No one will read it. They will not.
You’re headed for oblivion.”
I bow my head, and hide my blush,
Collapse, in catatonia.
How you malign my diamond,
Calling it cubic zirconia!
I sadly open wide the door.
The fresh air is delicious!
I vow to live my life, once more,
And be, with words, less precious.
Copyright 2021 Andrea LeDew
For a rant on a different kind of editing, read Minor Edits.
For a glimpse of another writer behind the scenes, read The Writer.
For another poem about jewels, read Tribute.
Um, did one of my writing process students write this? 😉
I never had to take that course. Im constantly amazed by what appears as gospel on writing infographics.
I learned from my daughters that all the characters one could possibly invent can be charted out according to Dungeons and Dragons (chaotic good etc.)And we thought it was just a nerdy game. 😊
I’m also amazed by the adoption of archetypes as truth. Things that once seemed debatable now seem incontrovertible.
And precious wasn’t ever used that way in my circles, till after the Lord of the Rings movies!😊
In my world, “precious” writing has traditionally been used to mean self-consciously artful and pretentious.
Yes, you’re right and I have heard it used that way online a great deal.
But cast as virtues, aren’t those qualities more or less indispensable to serious writing? One must be self-conscious to edit one’s own writing mercilessly, and one must be pretentious to imagine, that anyone would bother reading it anyway, and to stick with it until they do!😊