CHRIS RICE COOPER is a newspaper/fiction writer, poet, photographer, painter. CRC Blog is an INCLUSIVE & NON-PROFIT BLOG acknowledging ALL voices, ALL individuals, ALL political views, ALL philosophies, ALL religions including Islamism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Agnosticism, Atheism. She has a B.S. in Criminal Justice & completed her workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing. She lives in St. Louis.
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***This is #134 in a
never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice
Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that
specific poem. All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of
#134 Backstory of the Poem
by Janine Canan
Can you go
through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment the idea
was first conceived in your brain until final form? Whenever
that Voice speaks, I write it down immediately. Pen and paper is on hand in
every room, in my car and my bag.
The poem is either typed into my current
manuscript or dropped into a basket with many other neglected poems—I have much
unpublished and unrevised poetry written, in an altered, barely legible script,
over the decades.
Once a poem is in a manuscript it is subject to endless revision.
Only a few versions remain, as many changes, rapidly superimposed on each
other, are made on my MacAir
Where were you when you
started to actually write the poem? And
please describe the place in great detail. My small home is like a
temple. I believe I was in the living room, triggered by something I had read
about the endangered bees and elephants.
What month and year did you start
writing this poem?
Sometime in 2018, the poem "Eons" came to me. It came
in that special voice I have known since childhood.
Were there any lines in any of your
rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version? In the case of "Eons," no
lines were dropped or added to the original, but the words mutate, embrace, crystalline, and unsayable were debated and altered, as well as the punctuation and
capitalization of "And
Now, as always."
Which part of the poem was the most
emotional of you to write and why? In "Eons",
I am imagining the disappearance of life on Earth. It is a tragic topic. "Humans, are you
going too?" may be the most emotional moment,
though the emotions are complex, including those of grief, anger and also encouragement
for humanity to reverse its destructive course—before all life is indeed gone. The
point of the final stanza is nonetheless to convey ultimate faith in eternal
Being, that never dies no matter what happens to human beings. And to feel the
deep silence of dormant Being.
Has this poem been published before?And if so where?
"Eons" was immediately shared on Facebook and will
hopefully appear in a 2020 collection entitled Consciousness.
Earth, have you
had enough of us—
must we mutate
into something better?
Will the oceans embrace you
in crystalline blue
and the Sun blaze forth
its eonic glory?
And Now, as always,
with unsayable Love.
CANAN is a poet and psychiatrist who lives in northern California. She
is the award-winning author of over 20 books, including poetry, essays, stories,
anthologies and translations. Her most recent books are Ardor(poems)My Millennium: Culture, Spirituality &
the Divine Feminine (essays), Mystic Bliss(poems), andLove Is My Religion by Mata Amritanandamayi (a compilation.) X
Her anthology She Rises like the Sun: Invocations of the
Goddess by Contemporary American Women Poets received the Koppelman
Award for Best-edited Feminist Book; Messages from Ammareceived Health & Spirituality's
Best Spiritual Book Award, and Janine's first book of poems, Of
Your Seed, received a National Endowment for the Arts publication
Her retelling of
the legend of the Navajo Creation deity Changing Woman: Walk Now in Beauty is today
read in the Navajo Literacy Project. Canan has also translated the French poet
Francis Jammes and the German Jewish poet Else Lasker-Schueler. She graduated
from Stanford University with Distinction and New York University School of
Medicine. You can find out more about her work and contact her athttps://janinecanan.com/