December 19th, 2006

ozarque figure

That Christmas poem; final.....

I've read and re-read your comments, and given this quite a bit of thought, and I've decided not to try to revise the Christmas poem any further.

Thanks to your input, I think I now understand that poem: Its subject is the conflict between two sets of messages. There are the surface Christmas messages -- of love and peace and joy and glory and community. And then there is the other, lower, layer of Christmas messages -- of discord and hostility and distress and sorrow and envy and exhaustion and isolation. Both sets are going on at the same time, and we can only struggle to find some sort of compromise. And I suppose it must be like that for all the other winter holiday seasons in this difficult-to-manage world as well.

I have a tendency to turn individual pieces of writing into metaphors for their content. [That's how I got into so much trouble with the third book in the Native Tongue trilogy.] And that's what has happened with this poem. It's hard to speak it and hard to sing it, and the cacophony and dissonance of its form is intended to embody the conflict between the two message-streams. The more I try to fix that, the less accurate it will be as a metaphor for itself.

That is, I could rewrite it to make everything flow melodiously, but when I got through doing that it would be some other poem -- it wouldn't be this one. It might well be a better Christmas poem, for all I know, but it would be an entirely different one. It would be better just to write a different poem from scratch instead.

Many thanks for all your help....
ozarque figure

Personal note....

Someone recently sent me a comment asking if I could recommend some accessible feminist science fiction and/or science fiction by women authors. I have somehow managed to lose the comment, and am hoping that whoever sent it will read this note.

My personal recommendations:

For accessible feminist science fiction, I'd recommend first Joan Slonczewski's Door Into Ocean and then Ursula K. Le Guin's Always Coming Home; for accessible sf by women I'd recommend Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy, and C.J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" series.

And there's an excellent recommended reading list for feminist sf at http://feministsf.org/bibs/recommended.html .