Friday, February 18, 2011

Revision in a workshop setting

there's no guarantee that any suggestion I make will actually make the poem better. Sometimes a suggestion can be perfectly good, and it'll end up making the poem worse. There's a movie called Rio Bravo, made by director Howard Hawks, starring John Wayne, and co-starring Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, who were both better known as popular singers than dramatic actors -- this was Ricky Nelson's only dramatic role. Hawks liked the story, and he made almost the exact same story into another movie, called El Dorado, also starring John Wayne, this time with Robert Mitchum and James Caan in the two supporting roles. Mitchum and Caan were both extremely gifted actors (Caan still is--he's still around). But for some inexplicable reason, Rio Bravo is the better movie. But you learn by trying different things, even if they don't always make the poem better.

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