for writers and readers….

V is for the VISAGE so irksome to a writer’s sight (or falling out of love with your manuscript)

VANNE BRADSTREET was America’s first published poet. Born in Northampton, she became part of 17th century Massachusetts aristocracy – the men in the family were state governors and founders of Harvard. Here she describes her feelings about her writing


THOU ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth did’st by my side remain,
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, of so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretcht thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’th’ house I find.
In this array, ‘mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam,
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.

I especially like the line

rubbing off a spot, still make a flaw

one of the more common paintings of anne brads...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sometimes it is hard to know when to give up on the editing, sometimes a little distance is needed before you can decide when to leave well alone or when major surgery is required.

4 comments on “V is for the VISAGE so irksome to a writer’s sight (or falling out of love with your manuscript)

  1. creativityorcrazy
    April 25, 2013

    Sounds so true what most writers seem to say about putting a draft away from the light of day for a bit.

    • bridget whelan
      April 25, 2013

      I read somewhere that Aristotle recommended nine years between writing and revising!

  2. ann perrin
    April 25, 2013

    nearly always go for major surgery – then wonder why I have nothing much to show for all my writing endeavours… ummm

  3. bridget whelan
    April 25, 2013

    Ah, knowing when to walk away….and the danger is that you overwork the original idea, taking all the spark and energy out of it. Do visual artists have the same problem I wonder.

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This entry was posted on April 25, 2013 by in A-Z Challenge 2013 and tagged , , .


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