Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Feature: Doug Tanoury Day 3

Bell Tolls

The big bells of San Sebastian ring,
The first round are long gongs
That resonate in the morning air
And only with great reluctance
Do they slowly fall into full silence.

The small bells of San Sebastian ring,
The second round are short peals
Of high pitch, that cut the morning quiet
With excited and anxious rings
And quickly fade and evaporate.

The bells of San Sebastian ring,
Reminding me of the Mass I am missing,
The prayers not said, promises unkept,
And all the transgressions and sins
For which I have not sought
Full forgiveness.

© Doug Tanoury

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Q: What are your goals as a writer/poet?

A: I have always held modest goals, first and foremost it was to write poetry. It is what I have always loved to do. Beyond that goal, everything else just isn't as important. A poet's first goal should be to write and in doing so hopefully takes some chances along the way. I think it is really quite simple. Poetry will not make you a commercial success or a household name and there is usually not much money involved in it. That has a positive effect, believe it or not, of keeping this art form pure and uncomplicated. This should be definitive proof that every downside has an upside.

Q: How do you know when a poem is complete and needs no more revisions or do your poems continually evolve and change?

A: I do very little revising of poems. I have always worked that way. When I have finished it, it is finished and I usually have resisted the urge to revise extensively. I have equally resisted editorial changes. Many editors have held out offers to publish a poem I had submitted, if I would change this or that. I have always told them that changes are not possible. I always felt such offers were fundamentally unfair, and I have always regarded them as an intrusion into my poems.

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San Sebastian sunset - Atardecer en Donosti - Bahía de La Concha


  1. A comment from facebook from Christine Covelli. :-)

    I tried to leave a comment on the site, but it didn't take. I loved the poem, and when I went back to read it again, the big bells reminded me of mortal sins and the small bells, the venial ones. :))