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  • Writer's pictureKatie Beaton

Pieces of a Future Puzzle

There’s something very different about poetry when it comes to publishing it.

It’s fairly clear when one has finished a novel. I’m not talking about endless rounds of editing where you just keep finding something you want to change. I mean the more basic definition of it: You have a beginning, middle, and ending, and the story you intended on writing has been captured on paper.

A poetry collection is different. Each poem is but a piece of a puzzle that you won’t even begin to build until you decide on doing it.

I suppose a poet could first decide to write a poetry book, and then decide on themes, and then go about writing poetry to suit that vision of their book. But that’s not my experience, and I can’t say if that’s a common experience . . .

I write poetry when it hits me, when I need to, when I’m surrounded with an emotion that requires expression, when I’m confused and want clarity or beauty from something ugly, when I’m inspired … essentially, I write poetry while I live my life.

I never think where the poem will be published. It’s a release, a natural and automatic action. I wouldn’t think to be judging it, classifying it, organizing it …

So all of that comes later. It’s brilliant, actually. Writing poetry over the course of time, as you live your life . . . You are writing a story, and yet you are unaware of that. Only later do you read over past poems and start to see connections, themes, progressions … This is when you can visualize a book.


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