Friday, April 13, 2018

Cutting a Poem from a Manuscript: THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE NIGHT...or THINGS TO DO IF YOU ARE THE MOON?

Things to do if you are NIGHT was the final poem in my original manuscript for THINGS TO DO. There were three more poems that related to night--one about a teddy bear, one about a nightlight, and one about the moon.  

My editor Melissa Manlove wrote me saying:... we really only need one bedtime poem in the collection... I strongly prefer moon in this case, as it is particularly lovely and makes an excellent end to the book. 

So the "night" poem was cut and the "moon" poem stayed.

Things to do if you are NIGHT

Be the shadow of day.

Put the sun to bed and light the moon.

Rouse sleeping raccoons and owls.

Paint oceans black.

Sprinkle stars across the sky.

Slip softly away before dawn.

Things to do if you are the MOON

Live in the sky.

            Be bold


            be shy.

Wax and wane

            in your starry terrain.

Be a circle of light,

just a sliver of white,

            or hide in the shadows

            and vanish from sight.

Look like a pearl

            when you’re brim-full

            and bright.

Hang in the darkness

                        Dazzle the night.

I believe my editor made a wise decision. What do you think?

This week's earlier posts:

REMINDER: I am giving away signed copies of my book THINGS TO DO during National Poetry Month. I will collect the names of people who have commented on my blog posts each week in April and put them in a bag. Next Sunday, I will draw a name from the bag of someone who commented on a post that I published during the week of April 8-14.

Drawing dates: April 15, 22, 29, 30.


Robyn has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Life on the Deckle Edge.

And the last thing that I want to do this Friday is to wish "dearest" Lee Bennett Hopkins a


Robyn Hood Black said...

"Wax and wane/in your starry terrain" - LOVE that. Thanks for sharing both poems, Elaine, and for joining in the LBH birthday celebration!

Glenda Funk said...

The imagery in the night poem is so strong. I know these poems are for children, but I'm thinking about how I can inspire my high school students with the idea of "Things to Do" idea that informs these two wonderful poems.

Linda B said...

Well, I always love moon poems, Elaine, and I guess everyone else does, too, but what if you extended that night poem and made an entire picture book? I think that would be awesome! Happy writing!

Kay said...

I think it would be hard to cut either poem--both are lovely. I'm glad your sharing some of those you wrote that didn't find a home in the book.