Saturday, May 24, 2003

approval from the poet

People who don't know Nikki well have cautioned me never to trust my wife's critical judgement when she critiques a work of mine.

She will approve things out of love or duty, they said.

So not true.

Among the few people I respect enough to critique my work, especially what passes for my poetry, Nikki ranks the highest. Why? Because she isn't afraid of me, isn't afraid to tell me when I'm no good, exposes the times I rely on pure technique, and challenges me to be better.

And (this is where my doxophobia comes in) she knows how to tell me when I've done something right.

Well, she read the first five poems of what is now ambituously going to be a series of at least 10-12 poems and said they were good.

As we sat discussing the way each poem worked, I realized again how outrageously fortunate I am to have someone like her.

Even if she felt Lamia was out of sequence (give me a break, wife, the order I write them is, in a sense, accidental and easily corrected in the future).

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