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 other Poetic Forms 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)

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