Poem 31 Edited: Smoothing Out Harshness

Poem 31 is a literal bitter/sweet poem about love. Bitter/sweet because the idea of fruit is an easy metaphor for taste and sensations. However, the language in this poem is a little too prickly and in the revised version I attempted to smooth that out. Let’s talk a little about how I accomplished that.

aPoem 31

So the original is a little accusationary (is that a word?) about the love and the loss and who was really to blame. I was in a dark place, let’s just say that. But the poem shouldn’t suffer for my present moodiness, so going back the idea was to remove some of that hard language in favor of wisdom.

Wisdom is always a better way to go. Don’t let your poems be sour, let them be airy with a remove that makes the speaker both sage and relatable. Sure, we all bust out poems in a fury, but those poems are hard to read and sometimes embarrassingly poor. Instead, the speaker in the new version is both held together and calm.

I took out words like blame, terrible and rot. I also took the focus away from what happens to the fruit when it was picked too early (selfishly) and made it more about the mistakes made by the picker (inexperience). Everyone can relate to both selfishness and inexperience, but one is less a fault and rather a growing phase. We all grow, so the idea that we hurt each other while growing is more humanist than the pain of a loss.

Loss is good, use it. But just remember that the way you use the influences of your life will determine how good and bad the poem ends up being. This poem needs a few more revisions, but you can see how much has changed in a short while.



In a time of pain there are always two directions, bitterness or airiness. Take airiness and see how your poems change when you give them a little wisdom instead of blame. This can simply be accomplished by changing the words used to describe the event. Keep Writing!

Poem 31 Original Poem 31 Revised

Poem 31 Revised

I never meant to hurt you

When I plucked you from the branch,

When I peeled you with my nails.

A tangerine would have tasted

No sweeter than the luck puckering

Our lips. I never meant to pick you

Prior your prime, but upon my fingers

You felt fresh and who could blame

A novice eye for trying. Don’t trust me

When I tell you I’m sorry, darling,

Now that you finally see how easy

Green-picking can be. Now that you know

How slow the heart-fruit grows.



Poem 31 Original – Poem 31 Edited