Our late laureate Donald Hall

once decreed that no poem

should be shown to eyes

other than its author's

for at least six months,

during which time the poem

should be visited daily

for shaping and slow change.


But my early drafts need eyes

to find out the flaws; I need

other minds, other voices

to coax the poem to maturity

or at least to fledgling

capable of flight.

Poetry by Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 250 times
Written on 2021-12-10 at 09:06

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email (requires login)
dott Print text

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Your way seems to have worked well for you, Tom. You write good poetry. I think of writing a poem as being like baking bread: take it out of the oven, briefly examine it for flaws, and serve it warm.

jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Before the internet I wrote poems, put them in a drawer and revisited them over time, and at the end of the year I would bind that year's poem in a booklet.

Looking back at those poems I'm not sure the mellowing process added much. I still find changes to be made, and edits that I missed.

I agree that posting and seeing a poem through others' eyes is a very good thing, but not "hot off the press."

There you go, can't win for losing!

I appreciate you tackling this subject.

Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
I like this because it encourages thought.
I can see where you are coming from.
I am a great advocate for 'artists license' though, and think that when a piece of my work is readied and committed to 'publishing' it should by then be saying what I want it to say. After that, others may critique it, but it will always stand as a statement of the way I was thinking at the time I wrote it. What we can do is revisit the topic of a work at a later stage and write new thoughts.
A great share, thank you.

a poem grows
or turns flat in time?