Tuesday Poem: ‘Demolition’ by Sarah Jane Barnett


At the moment I’m nervously reading through my PhD thesis in preparation for the viva next week. This is one of my poems from the thesis, or at least a version of that poem. When I read it again yesterday I had to fiddle; I took out a few words and changed the poem’s form. I reconsidered some images and cut a few lines. An hour later the poem was different. The original poem (the one that lives in my thesis) is also different to an earlier version published in Trout 17So often I find these collections of words to be insistent and pushy, but I like the idea that a poem can be an evolution, rather than an end point.

For other Tuesday Poems check out the hub.

3 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: ‘Demolition’ by Sarah Jane Barnett

  1. Absolutely–a process. I met with a friend on my travels, a poet too, & he talked about how a poem he’d been tinkering with for 10 years had evolved, condensed from 10 pages to 5 to maybe, in the end, 5 lines or words? I said I’d love to see the publication of the evolution…

  2. I really like this Sarah. It’s so present and yet it floats around between times.
    And what you said about poems being an evolution is a very positive way to put it. Question: Can they evolve backwards and sideways as well? Sometimes it feels that way and you poem above has that in it. Good luck for the viva. I presume that means presentation.

    1. Thanks, Helen! I do think that poems can move backwards and sideways. Sometimes my poems evolve into nothing (usually good for those particular poems). The viva is the doctoral exam, and thanks for the luck!

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