Bright Star Beckons
Saw Bright Star with Lisa and later fell asleep reading Keats’ poems again. Naturally, next morning I wrote another poem. And today, another. Am also in the midst of revising the second in my trio of romantic comedies.
When I looked in my closet for the rom com draft, I found a notebook full of old poems and stories. I wondered: should I include some of the old poems in the book I’m putting together? And decided, I will include a few, but others are so awful I’m only keeping them because I wrote them when I was 16 and I love that sad girl’s awkward words.
Then I thought about writing a story about a 16-year old poet. This idea arrived (and mercifully quickly departed) because of the stories also in the notebook. Now I want the stories to be a book, too. I was much older than 16 when I wrote them, and I still think they are good stories.
All these projects beckon like bright stars of their own.
Keats died believing he was a failure, and yet his poems are still beloved hundreds of years later. After his first book was a dismal flop, he wrote another. He didn’t live long enough to learn its fate,which was equally dismal. Then, decades later, a new generation of poets rescued him from obscurity.
Jane Campion brings Keats’ words to life again–the film’s dialogue incorporates delicious sections of some of his best-loved poems.
As writers, we put our words in the most perfect form we can and fate does with it what it will. Emily Dickinson stitched her homemade books together by hand and lovingly tucked them in a box under her bed. She asked her sister to burn them when she died, but happily that request was ignored.
Although I do not have the great talent of Keats or Dickinson, my URL is like a box under my bed. I like it as repository better than the notebook in a closet or the manuscript in the drawer because I can have a lovely shelf of virtual books right here, in one place, all together.