Poem 65 Edited

Poem 65 I love, but there will still need to be more editing, the end is a little flat and the delivery, though better than before, could be whittled a bit more.

Poem 65

Poem 65. There are so many revised versions to this poem. Most of them were lost on my notes from college as a result of poor organization. Could I go back I would make 2 changes to my poetry plan as a student:

1 – be more organized and diligent about revising in the moment and not waiting until the assignment or the book is due.

2 – take the time to gather all of the drafts so that changes could be tracked and I could maybe go back if I got stuck. 

There was something desperate and fast about college poetry classes. Most of them had only a few assignments, so when push came to shove I stalled them to be more studious in classes like science – ugh.

As a result there was a rush at the end. Not only were there all sorts of papers with all kinds of hand written notes but there was no time to collect them together. When we were at the end of a deadline I was more inclined to just turn out the best poem I could as it was, so inevitably, the versions were lost.

All that feedback, all that middle drafting, just gone. What a shame. If I could go back I would always have saved them, maybe scanned them, maybe made notes on all the suggestions. This poem was a class workshop poem, an assignment poem, a submission poem, so the feedback was diverse and well thought out, and now it is lost to the universe, hopefully I recycled it.

That doesn’t make this version any better or worse than it might have been. Nothing is lost that is not regained eventually, as an artist I believe this with all of my heart. This is just less pensive. Less thought out, less considered. As a poet of process I like the idea of feedback and connected drafting. For me, this poem feels a little like the progression of humans over time. All these missing links and no way to really reconnect them, only thoughts and ideas on what might have been between.


Poems with lots and lots of drafts have a more complicated process that might bet lost if organization is not a priority. For me, the lost drafts are a casualty of my former messiness. For now, the poem is better than ever despite any lost versions. The poem will be whatever it wants to be eventually, as long as we all keep editing, those drafts will be a shame but not a tragedy.

Poem 65 RevisedPoem 65 Original

Poem 4 Editing

As is customary with my projects, life got in the way… I wish it didn’t, but I have a better sun tan and a revitalized drive to finish this editing… so here we go, poem 4.

This poem comes from a poetic conversation between Bishop and Moore, a literary friendship and jumping point for cross generational writing, that often gets overlooked in the canonizing of poetry… when I read their work I strove to write my own fish poem… through my collection you will find a stretching romance with the idea of fish and marine iconography, though this early attempt is rather drab…

I’ll begin with the blue note down below, be wary of when and in what circumstances your poem exists… this was written during the turmoil of the oil spill, and the verbiage shows, the best way to avoid that is to go back and edit with fresh eyes, little blemishes like that will be easier to see.

This poem, like the previous editing, hits a stride after the first two stanzas. Don’t be afraid to recognize that in your own writing and cut away the fat. Your readers will have short attention spans, and if a poem is only as good as its middle, they may never get there…

Finally, the form and the way that the lines move should be intentional. Note the purple aside about enjambment. Make sure that the highlights and quirks of every line are intentional, don’t fall on enjambment or rhyme or structure to make up for missing elements in the language.


Remember to weed through the mess that is a first draft. This poem is clearly in its infancy, and if I hope to make it something more than a mere first attempt, I have to recognize the elements that are less than extraordinary… items like temporal elements (oil spill), clogged stanzas (1st and 2nd) and gimmicky rhetoric devices (enjambment and structure) hold back the overall piece and must be removed… the difference between a good poem and a bad one is removal of these flaws, the difference between a seasoned poet and a novice is their ability to recognize and overcome their own poetic issues.

Poem 4 RevisedPoem 4 Original