"About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter"

After returning to this site after a long absence, and learning that John Martin mucked with Buk's writing (in many cases, criminally), my soul collapsed upon itself (damnit, I'm not overexaggerating). This one isn't too bad, I guess. It's hard to stomach that JM's tendrils have reached to my beloved Roominghouse.

Original - Wormwood Review - No. 19 - pg. 32 - 1965
Reprint - The Roominghouse Madrigals - pg. 59 - 1988 (with below changes):

in 2nd stanza, "he said," is added after 'Look"
in 2nd stanza, "45" is changed to "54"
in 5th stanza, "he asks" added after "people"
in last stanza, text deleted: "my fingers just itch for a piano"
plus miscellaneous lowercasings, italic/caps differences.


wr19_w chgs.jpg
This post being moved out of "Poem Comparisons" made me realize I did post in the wrong place (I didn't catch the sub heading Posthumous publications to manuscript versions).

I also want to retract my outrage at Mr. Martin. Chalk it up to "blame excitement" (is this a thing?)

These changes were made when Buk was alive, so it was either Buk or JM (and Buk approved, or didn't care or didn't realize).

I still think there's value in comparing the older editions and first poem appearances though... but I'll post them in this thread... thanks...


Founding member
The thread was moved because it's not a side by side comparison, and because (I believe) the changes are trivial compared to most of the comparisons here, which were done to demonstrate more destructive "edits."

If we start posting every example of adding something like "he said" - as pointless as it may be - or the removal of one line from a hundred line poem, the argument against the editing starts to lose validity. It's best if we don't have lots of examples of edits that people can look at and say, "What's so bad about that?"
Much to my chagrin, yeah, I can see your point and agree.
I still find it interesting though, no matter how slight the changes (whether writerly or needlessly editorial in nature).

I was working on another one (a line was removed from my fav, short, poem) but I'll hold back to keep the static down. I don't want to dilute or take away from the more egregious crimes.
I need to take a deeper dive into that comparison thread...

What does everyone consider to be the least damaged posthumous collection? (Disclosure: I haven't searched this topic yet.)