Finally the day comes when a poem matures, announces it’s leaving home and sets off into the world to seek its fortune. Once I’ve waved goodbye, it’s hard to control what happens to them, but I like to check in now and then to see how they’re doing.
I was pleased to find one of my poems (“Three Hummingbirds”) on a photography and poetry website recently. Great! I thought. Until I realised someone had seen fit to change the title, remove the stanza numbers and delete the middle stanza altogether! Oh and my name was spelt incorrectly (but I’m used to that). I don’t believe it’s OK to change someone’s work in this way (and I expect it’s a breach of copyright). I chose that title for a reason, the stanza numbers are an integral part of the poem and the middle stanza provides a clear link between the other two. I’m following this up with the person whose site it is and hopefully can get it remedied. (If it gets fixed, I’ll put up a link.)
If you want to read the poem in its true and proper form, you can see it here on the Poetry NZ website: http://www.poetrynz.net/archives/issue-27/
The other thing I found on the net recently was the first review I’ve seen of AUP New Poets 3. It’s from Trevor Reeves in Southern Ocean Review and if you’re interested, you can read it here: http://www.arts.org.nz/rev49.htm I must say I’m impressed with Southern Ocean Review’ broad coverage of poetry published in New Zealand with short reviews of pretty much every poetry book there is, as far as I can see.
I was a little surprised to be described as a “fresh new voice from the Auckland region” given that I’ve spent the last 25 years in Wellington and most of my poems in the collection are set in Wellington – but I expect that was because Auckland University Press is the publisher. And I did live in Auckland for five years in my late teens, so I’m quite happy to be considered a JAFA. Trevor goes on to say my work “deals mainly with spiders” which is an interesting interpretation. To me, the Alice Spider character I write about has always been human, but I know some people see her as an actual spider.
Anyway, there we have it. Poems which now have a life of their own. All I can do is hover in the background. Like a spider.
Hmmm, do spiders hover? Hummingbirds do, though!
No fun to have your work badly treated like that. I once had an unauthorised and unpaid translation of one of my stories appear on a Vietnamese-language website (some phrases in it were left untranslated, which is how I found it). In this case, I was actually quite chuffed to have had a translation done, even though I would have liked to have been asked first. I wasn’t really in a position to comment on the quality of the translation, however.
I hope the person responsible will fix this up.