Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Last Writes
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Carl Little of Somesville is both a poet and widely published interpreter of Maine painting. He bases today’s entry on a remark once made by the New Hampshire resident and former US Poet Laureate, Charles Simic, a relentless reviser of his poems.
Last Writes by Carl Little
“I tinker with most of my poems even after publication. I expect to be revising in my coffin as it is being lowered into the ground.”--Charles SimicAt the wake for the ex-U.S. poet laureate at the Hotel Fin du Monde someone swore he heard a scratching sound in the casketand later, as we wedged the box into a rocky corner of a New Hampshire bone orchard, one of the pall bearers, a pallid poet withacute hearing, caught the sibilant sound of the words being crossed out ----“kissing” substituted for “praying”, perhaps, or“lover” for “beloved”----the gentle rub of eraser, the whisper of a breath to remove residue from the paperand the click of the miner’s lamp Simic insisted wearing on his head in lieu of the standard issue laurel wreath.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 by Carl Little. Reprinted from Off the Coast: Fall 2010 – A Mouth Full of Hornets, 2010, by permission of Carl Little. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263.