Monday, June 5, 2017

Selected and Rearranged

Unless one is familiar, even intimate, with a poet's production, one can have little understanding of why which poems are collected in a volume. But once they're there, any reader can, and perhaps should, speculate on why they are grouped and arranged as they are. This is something we may discuss in two days in our meeting on Mark Doty's My Alexandria. This third book of poems was his break-out collection. Fifteen years later in his eighth collection Fire to Fire in addition to new poems some poems were selected from the preceding seven. The third volume did very well. Only four poems ("Heaven," "The Wings," "To Bessie Drennan," and "Becoming a Meadow") were omitted. But the remainder were degrouped and rearranged:

   The Ware Collection
   Days of 1981

   Human Figures

   Almost Blue

   Esta Noche
   Night Ferry

   With Animals
   Bill’s Story
   The Advent Calendars

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this matter.

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