Editing A Poem

Here are some ideas and techniques if you are stuck on rewriting a poem.

Remember that the whole point of editing is to edit through someone else’s eyes. You need to not be in love with the poem. Use Time-as-an-editor.

Also remember all-art-is-subjective, Each-poem-Is-New. Focus-on-Process-not-the-end-goal

  • Read-Writing-Aloud to hear the sound of it.
  • Where does the poem surprise you? Make these accidents intentional. Build up to them or go in different directions.
  • What is the imagery doing? Is it coherent? Is it mostly Concrete-or-abstract? Are you following Show-Dont-Tell? Should you?
  • Does the form reflect the content? Look at another Poetic-form to find one that might work. Can you build in rhyme or is the rhyme inappropriate?
  • Look at line breaks. What are they doing? Are they intentional?
  • Remove clichés (or deliberately Twist-a-Cliché)
  • Remove joints of poem and common words.
  • Keep a The-Spark-File
  • Cut-the-Last-Lines

Transform the poem and create something new out of the ashes. ( [[ Transform-Existing-Work ]])

  • Use a line as a new poem
  • Create a negative-poem
  • Combine three images from separate poems or separate sources.
  • Condense to a single sentence
  • Cut-Up-Technique - shred the poem
  • n7
  • Use [[ Text-Manipulation-Tools ]] to outsource the process to machines.

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