Poem 41 Editing

Make note of this: sometimes poems get longer.

I am always talking about revising as cutting, chopping, slicing, purging, gutting… so it might seem weird that this poem actually got a little bigger. That’s a rarety in my editing, but in your own you might find that there are a lot of times that you didn’t say enough. It differs from poem to poem but the editing process should be the same: what works, what doesn’t, what’s missing?

I was pretty harsh during my editing of this poem, saying that rhyming poems are a cop out. I should have said something like: when I write poems that rhyme it often means that there was something missing that I tried to cover up with a rhyme. As usual, this poem is from early in my writing career and I was trying to negotiate rhyme as a tool. My recent poetry uses slant rhyme, an emphasis on alliteration and other tools of sound apart from a strict rhyme.

But it’s a good poem, it’s a good idea… there are some issues with the ending, that quite frankly I don’t solve… and it ends on a sour note. This poem will need more work, but at least I can break away from the fluff and bring a sense of the object rather than the moment in time that inspired the piece


I’m hard on rhyming, but only because in my work it is a crutch. There are some poems by poets that rhyme that are so good I feel like I’ll never write again because they are so out of my league. For the most part, rhyme is a crap cop-out in my own work. Write to your strengths. If you are a master rhymer, do that… if you are a syncopated genious, by all means continue, but if you find yourself failing at these traits, than be a blisteringly harsh critic, or someone else will.

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