Writing “Truth” by David Appelbaum

(Poet, philosophy professor, and Codhill Press publisher David Appelbaum has written a meditative new chapbook called, Jiggerweed. He offers some thoughts on composing a poem called “Truth.”)

Take any poem, e.g., ‘Truth’:

A phrase will come to me, a certain coursing of words, a discoursing that has primarily a specific tonality. That movement of language, an energy that travels across a semantic field and creates a track of meaning, that is the trace.

It is the shadow of a mood, the movement in human terms, that the poem is saying. Some records are more true than others. In most, adjustments must be made: words changed, syntax altered, meaning more intentionally commanded.

Ultimately, it is to be in command of the poem, that comes in an inchoate form and must be touched by the love of it, that shines a bit in the polishing. Such is an edit.


ruins so much
once it can say
the simple and was so

once with like
once with must
marked elsewhere

beyond deceit even
isn’t evil
but none, no
truth but isn’t

if once could say

* * * *

The Mother Grouse Blog is produced by Will Nixon, author of My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse and Love in the City of Grudges available on-line.

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