Here is another example of a poem that maybe needs some sleep. I am not sure how it got into this list (i’m not super organized) but find it to be below my current standard of writing for my collection.
See a previously retired poem here – Poem 27 Retired
So let’s talk a little about this poem. Poem 51, written about my favorite tree at JMU was placed on the filler page at the end of a book I was pretending to read for some feminism class, but was more a distraction than an art piece. The best thing to do is grab lines that work well as just lines and keep them for later. You can see with the +’s and -‘s that those lines stand out starkly against the rather flat repetition.
Retiring is important. It signals a poem is no longer a strong piece of your collection and designates an offical action for it that you make within your lifetime. Don’t let lingering poems happen to you! For more on that idea see Poem 27 Retired, and I’ll give you my whole shbiel.
For this poem, the reason is simple. With over 130 poems to look after, there’s no reason to keep this one alive if there realy is nothing going on, no big picture. Sure, an argument could be made for a simple childhood expose, or some kind of success imagery, or betterment, or togetherness, but it’s pretty flat, so why not take the best few lines and make something dazzling.
There’s nothing wrong with giving a poem it’s getaway, and it makes you a stronger writer for knowng when to let it go. Always look for ways to make poems better, but if you are holding on to a few lines, or maybe just a good idea, cut your strings and save it for another day, it might suprise you how lovely those pieces sound in some other poem.