Drafting Poems

A very helpful post on drafting and editing poems.

I wrote a few thoughts on drafting and re-drafting poems last night. I redrafted my thoughts today. This is only a draft.

1.  Does the opening line invite the reader to read the poem? Is it compelling? Is it hard to understand? If so, will it repel the reader? Do you need the first line? The first stanza? Half of the second stanza? Delete until you are left with the poem. Or not, in which case it probably wasn’t meant to be a poem.

2.  Have you read the poem aloud? Does it sound ‘right’? Is it hard to read? Where do the line breaks naturally fall?  Do you want to subvert this, and if so, to what purpose? What’s the white space doing? What shape best serves the poem?

3.  Do you need to put the poem away until you can see it more clearly? Come back tomorrow. Or next year. If you are…

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