Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rediscovering joy

Last week, I started work on a new poetry manuscript. Well, actually, it’s kinda new. Mostly old. Some of the poems were published in a chapbook by a vanity publisher years ago. The book has since gone out of print (and, as far as I can tell from my searches, the vanity press no longer exists). So I have decided to give it a second life, just as I did with Topiary Dreams (Songs of the Dead) and November’s Child (Shadow of Samhain).

And just like I did with TD, I’m making this one “bigger and better.” That’s right; I am adding more poems and giving it a new title. It will also have a new cover. I truly believe that if you’re going to do something a second time and call it “new,” then, by golly! Go the whole nine yards! Take things up a notch and go all out in making it HUGE! Wow them! Entice them! Make it completely different than what the old play had once been.

That’s my philosophy, anyway.

So, that is what I did last week. And instead of 42 poems in the book, there will be 100! And, as I did with TD, I’m dedicating this version to the same person the original was dedicated to.

The thing of it is, well ... these poems are old. I mean REALLY old. And some of them make me cringe over the thought of them representing the poet I am now. But, you know what? They actually don’t. Those poems actually represent the person I used to be, and I guess the poet I used to be. And, as for the last of the poems in this book, the person I am now. And, in truth, I used to be so innocent and naïve just as the first 40 poems are (Hah! Sometimes I am still naïve! But, still....) And after all the things I have been through now, reading about those innocent times brought me a sense of peace. They brought me a sense of joy.

True, my younger years were not entirely pleasant. But it didn’t turn me into a negative, evil person. Despite the bad things, I held on to my innocence and sense of hope for a peaceful world. I held on to my inner happiness and my faith. And even after bad things happened, I still held on to them. I still wanted to believe that there was good worth fighting for and believing in. Even writing about.

And I’m glad I wrote them, because they are a pleasant and joyous escape from the brutal realities of this world. They are a comfort from the other bad things and the hard times.

And, in a way, watching the change in these poems – the innocence, the sense of maturity and the development of strength – was enough to make me feel these poems do represent me after all. They represent the journey I have been on thus far. Since the original book was meant to be autobiographical, that will happen here, too. And that goal is achieved just from seeing how the messages of the poems change.

Working on this manuscript became a delight for me. I enjoyed reading the early poems and cherished the sense of innocence they made me feel again just from reading them.

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