Saturday, 17 December 2016

The scaffolding of a poem

I've blogged previously about my admiration for Maggie O'Farrell's verse back in the 1990s, long before she became famous as a novelist. As a consequence, I was drawn to her piece in The Guardian today, titled My Writing Day.

I find that ideas and sparks for poems actually come from being kept from the act of writing by other obligations, so it's very interesting to see that her experiences chime in with mine in that respect. Moreover, she also explains that her current prose writing is still influenced by poetry classes taught by Michael Donaghy some twenty years ago. One key point stands out

" will need scaffolding to build your writing inside but must remember to take it down at the end."

That quote has stuck in my mind. I'll be recalling it from now on whenever I rework a draft.

1 comment:

  1. Compare with Wittgenstein's ladder - "My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them—as steps—to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)"