April 22, 2020

REVISIONS MASTERCLASS: SARAH VENART, FOX'S SLEEP REVISITED

This is the third in a Poetry Month feature series with Sarah Venart, who walks us through the revisions history of some of the poems from her forthcoming book, I Am the Big Heart (Brick 2020). Comments and questions are welcome. What do you see changing as the poem develops?

Sarah Venart
FOX'S SLEEP REVISITED


She wants my hens.
Hunger makes her small-waisted
as a wasp. Mid-afternoon, voracious,
she slips by the verandah to attack the cat
and the grosbeaks in the feeder. 
But she really wants the hens, 
so silent in the shed they must smell her.
In the morning, four feathers on a fencepost,
Swiss dots of blood and musk.


REVISION HISTORY

creation: late 2015
Fox-sleep (later Became FOX SLEEP REVISITED)

She wants my hens.  
My cat.  The grosbeaks 
in the feeder.  Hunger
makes her small-waisted
as a wasp, but
for all that craftiness, 
she arrives mid-
afternoon. 


Spring 2019 revision
Fox’s Sleep Revisited

She wants my hens.
Hunger makes her small-waisted
as a wasp. Mid-afternoon, so voracious,
she slips by the verandah to attack the cat, 
and the grosbeaks in the feeder. 
But she wants the hens, so silent in the shed they must smell her.
In the morning, four feathers on a fencepost, 
Swiss dots of blood and musk. 


Summer 2019 revision
Fox’s Sleep Revisited
She wants my hens.
Hunger makes her small-waisted
as a wasp. Mid-afternoon, voracious,
she slips by the verandah to attack the cat
and the grosbeaks in the feeder. 
But she really wants the hens, so silent in the shed they must smell her.
In the morning, four feathers on a fencepost, 
Swiss dots of blood and musk. 


November 2019 revision: line breaks
Fox’s Sleep Revisited
She wants my hens.
Hunger makes her small-waisted
as a wasp. Mid-afternoon, voracious,
she slips by the verandah to attack the cat
and the grosbeaks in the feeder. 
But she really wants the hens, 
so silent in the shed they must smell her.
In the morning, four feathers on a fencepost, 
Swiss dots of blood and musk. 


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