Saturday, November 12, 2022

Poetic Thoughts on Completing a New Manuscript




This week I found myself reflecting on Robert Frost’s great poem, “After Apple-Picking,” and the parody “After Prose Picking” I’d long ago written to commemorate my completing a new manuscript.  


It’s a little ditty I composed to give the curious among you a window on how this writer feels at such a moment, and having experienced that again this week, it seemed appropriate to share it once more.


Here goes…



After Prose-Picking


My long, two-sided draft is staring up at me, 

A heavenly thrill. 

Though there's a plot line that I didn't fill. 

What of it? And there may be two or three 

Characters left out hanging on some bough. 

But I am done with story telling now. 

A sense of something missed is not a fright, 

The grip of slumber has me drowsing off. 

Yet, I still see my laptop screen in sight, 

It’s as if I’m caught in an endless class, 

Filled only with words and no time for sloth.

Held captive to words like whorey and crass. 

My laptop crashed, though my draft got a break. 

And I was well 

For I’d backed up before the curse befell. 

Now I could tell 

What form my dreaming was about to take. 

Manuscript pages appear and disappear, 

From front to blessed end, 

And every speck of my thoughts showing clear. 

This author surely wants to see a break, 

But feels the pressure of another round. 

That will soon come from my publisher’s end, 

Of comments based on where my seller’s been.

Plus then a mound 

Of load on load of edits coming in. 

But I have had too much 

Of manuscripting: Now I’m overtired 

From the great harvest I myself desired. 

There were one hundred thousand words to touch, 

Cherish in hand, to sound, to let some fall. 

But all 

Those struck with worth, 

No matter if part used or spiked with stubble, 

I sent straight on to my word-mulching heap, 

For in such earth, 

One will find help with trouble. 

Such when thoughts seem asleep, if sleep it is. 

And words are gone. 

I don’t turn to the Bard for words of his.

I search through my mulch, for what lies thereon.

Frost covered and deep. 




Jeff’s Upcoming Book Events


Friday, November 18, 2002 @10am


Reykjavik, Iceland

Where is My Mind? Madness and Obsession
AUTHORS:  Louise Mangos, Paul Cleave, Jeff Siger, Thomas Fecchio
MODERATOR: Ewa Sherman


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