Jul 27

Revision Ad Infinitum

During several long layovers in my recent travels, I had some time to work on a revision of one of my poems that is a personal favorite of mine: Infinitude. (All my poetry can be found on the drop-down menu under ABOUT US > OUR FAMILY > ABOUT MATT > ORIGINAL POETRY.) If you know me very well, you are aware that I have perfectionist tendencies and I’m never completely satisfied with my poetry. I am often revising pieces that I’ve written in the past to try to improve them. Some of them I’ll probably be trying to revise on my deathbed.

Since I had plenty of time on my hands with not much else to do, I made some minor improvements to Infinitude in three areas. First, I smoothed the grammar and word order in a few places where it was still a little rough. Second, I tried to clarify my intended meaning by changing some word choices. Finally, I’ve tried to enrich the meaning of the original text where possible by deepening it along the lines of my original intention for the poem. Hopefully, I’ve succeeded in improving it without overdoing things (another of my tendencies).

By the way, I’ve been working on a new poem for about two years now which is only about half to two-thirds complete; it will be the longest poem I’ve ever attempted when finished. Given the constraints of time available for me to devote to this type of project and my perfectionist tendencies, don’t expect it to appear here any time soon. It’s title is I Abraham; the personal motivation for me to persevere in completing this project has come from the devotional benefits and Scriptural insights I’ve gained as I’ve reflected on the life of Abraham as a missionary and fellow pilgrim. My current plan for the project calls for 9 chapters of 4 stanzas each (36 stanzas total). Chapters 1-5 are essentially complete except for minor revisions, and 6 is partially complete. Chapter One is entitled “Canaan”; here is the first stanza of Chapter One to whet your appetite:

I ABRAHAM

1. Canaan

The LORD said, “Go!” My course I never shall repent:

My country, gods, and kindred I forsook; I went

To seek a land to me unknown and did not rate

My loss a poor exchange, nor count the cost too great,

Which made of me a pilgrim and my home a tent.

1 comment to Revision Ad Infinitum

  • Marian Hanna

    Infinitude is my very favorite poem; it is inspired!
    About “I Abraham”: By the time you finish it, you will be able to write a commentary on Abraham, or preach a year’s sermons. 🙂 Mom

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