Paula Bonnell

Looking North

Near at hand, the mud
is black and oozy. The waters
do not disdain to silver it as
they return to the shore, angling
to enter the branches…

Distinguished Writer of the ArtAscent Winter call for entry. To see the full body of work, grab a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Winter issue.

Artist Statement

The truth is that I never know whether another poem will come to me. I have to wait, and also to be willing to engage with it immediately and intensely when it does arrive, then over a period of a week or two, reread the draft(s) and refine and improve it as much as possible. Valery said that a poem is never finished, only abandoned in despair, which suggests that the poet’s ambition exceeds their achievement to date.

About My Work

What I have to say about the work is rather dull stuff compared with the poems themselves. What some of the editors who have accepted my work for publication in the last year or two (which is extremely gratifying) have said is “we absolutely love” and then give the name of the piece they want to publish. These are people who read dozens, even hundreds of poems for every one they take, so this phrase is enormously encouraging. And each publication is gratifying in itself, especially when other work in the issue is well worth reading. More time and energy go into getting published as compared to the burst of composition, but it’s worth it so these literary offspring can be animated by the minds and sensibilities of readers.

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