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I've been working on a collection of poems for the past 4 years and I've reached a point where poems come to me much more slowly than they did when I first started the collection. Before I remember writing 2-3 poems every month, but now I'm lucky if I write 1 in a month.

I feel like a big contributor to this writer's block is that since I am now around half way into the collection, I kinda have this flow of ideas mapped out and it is something I am trying to follow, religiously. So, recently I've only been looking for images that fit these ideas, instead of finding the idea in an image. is this a constructive way to go about writing poetry?

Some might say that I should forget about the collection and just write, but I am simply stubborn about it to the point that I will not write a poem unless it'll go into the collection. How should I reflect honestly on this mindset? What do you guys think about centering everything you write around a highly conceptual collection and how is this ever done? Is this the right way to go about it? Do high-concept collections just happen, or are they sometimes planned like how I'm doing?
i never finish any of my books. a good 30 poems, and a few final touches to complete the work i never get around to.


i move on.

i never get stuck or blocked. i move beyond the concepts i was working with.
if i was a true artist, id come down on stuff in a godlike manner and work as a detached craftsman.
but im a sloppy romantic improvisationalist.
(10-06-2021, 12:16 PM)alexorande Wrote: [ -> ]I've been working on a collection of poems for the past 4 years and I've reached a point where poems come to me much more slowly than they did when I first started the collection. Before I remember writing 2-3 poems every month, but now I'm lucky if I write 1 in a month.

I feel like a big contributor to this writer's block is that since I am now around half way into the collection, I kinda have this flow of ideas mapped out and it is something I am trying to follow, religiously. So, recently I've only been looking for images that fit these ideas, instead of finding the idea in an image. is this a constructive way to go about writing poetry?

Some might say that I should forget about the collection and just write, but I am simply stubborn about it to the point that I will not write a poem unless it'll go into the collection. How should I reflect honestly on this mindset? What do you guys think about centering everything you write around a highly conceptual collection and how is this ever done? Is this the right way to go about it? Do high-concept collections just happen, or are they sometimes planned like how I'm doing?

I don’t think Paradise Lost or the Divine Comedy happened, they were planned and executed painstakingly. It is not an easy task. Keats failed to do it with Hyperion. 
While a collection is not as difficult as writing a long narrative poem, it’s still harder than writing a bunch of spontaneous lyrics.
What’s your goal here? How many poems have you planned and where are you at?

I tried to write a long narrative poke once, a long time ago. I couldn’t finish, even though I’d started
I have two big collections, the first one started as a bunch of spontaneous songs but then I wrote out an outline for it and the rest fell together very deliberately without any blockage, the closer I got to the end the easier the material fell into place.
The second collection started with the same steam as the first finished, now I'm on the last two or three songs and I'm blanking. I averaged about a song every two months. These last couple songs have taken over a year.

I read that there was a curse on 'the 10th symphony' where composers would die before finishing their 10th. But Mahler set his goal to surpass it and he crushed it.

Sounds like you need some 'filler'. Write a few quick fluff garbages and finish the big work, then take those fluffs and edit the shit out of them. I feel like most albums and books have some fluff to them, like DBZ vs. DBKai. Good luck
busker,

I'm aiming for a minimum of 45 poems, and I currently have 31 poems written---9 of which I plan on either harshly editing or simply cutting from the collection---and 1 short story that I plan on reworking into an epic poem. I plan on beginning this cutting/editing process once I reach my goal of 45 poems. I also have some poems that I cut that I've been revisiting to see if they can still fit in the collection in any way.

Why couldn't you finish the narrative poem?

CRNDLSM,

The "curse of the 10th symphony" sounds scary. I've been revisiting Todd's "The Night Poetry Died" in the Spotlight forum and it's been resonating a lot recently. I have some poems that I cut that are filler material, maybe I should just edit the shit out of those and write more filler. Maybe afterwards I can see how these concepts could be worked into those poems and then rewrite those poems again?

rowens,

I think a "true artist" can exist as both a detached craftsman and a romantic improvisationalist. Why do you think a true artist can only work as a detached craftsman?
(10-06-2021, 10:07 PM)alexorande Wrote: [ -> ]Why couldn't you finish the narrative poem?

It was a mock epic, written in ye olde school style. Didn't have much substance.
I don't think a poem can sustain itself for more than a few pages. The limit is probably the individual poems in The Four Quartets. Anything longer, and it's hard to hold it all together.
It was different back in the day - we hold the old masters to a different standard. We are happier suspending disbelief with them.

45 poems is a lot. Dylan THomas's first volume contained 18 poems. He was but a lad then, but we hold the dead to a different standard as well (if someone were to write like DT today at the age of 19, he'd be dismissed as a pretender, rightfully)
im aware that i can complete long projects, but i dont, not always. and i scatter over too many papers that get lost. asking waitresses for pen and paper.
its because i prefer life over art. im not flaubert.