Thursday, June 12, 2008

Poem Revision - revising our poetry

I guess I am not sure how many have read the Forest Poem below. If you have, you may notice that it has changed a couple times already since first posted. Over the next week or two I will continue to revise it in an attempt to improve it (haha, maybe it will go the other way?) I don't plan on this piece being the killer of all killer poems, I know it won't, is not meant to be, but I hope to bring it to a level that provides a breath of inspiration while also being an interesting read. We'll see?

I love revision!! I almost always revise my poems at least a few times and hardly ever write (share) improv pieces. Maybe an exception is when I write Haiku. I will sometimes leave an instant haiku to a friend in a blog or email as my little piece of poem candy, usually written on the spot in response to the things I am reading/replying to. I find the revision process facinating. Sometimes, when things are right in our head, a poet can go outside of his or her mind and really look at a piece as a reader might. This is a difficult task, to disconnect one's self from our own poem but it is crutial to success in revision. I always try to get that first draft on paper in my journal, encompassing all the thoughts and/or using the notes I have written prior to starting, then build from there at a later date after the piece breathes a bit. Instant revision is not a real good thing normally either in my opinion.

Receiving rejections is a good thing sometimes. Yes, it may bruise the poet's ego maybe, but it should also serve as a motivation to potentially look at a piece deeper and revise it for improvement for the next round of submissions.

The poem below has had at least 10 revisions so far (and it still and I probably spent about 8 hours with it total. I wrote it in 2006 originally.

My record for hours worked on one single poem is 125 hours. This was over a 1.5 year period total. I am still shopping it around, trying to find it a home. It's an experimental piece, 13 lines long and so far, I have received 3 fine rejections. Smiles!

I think I average about 5 hours per "finished" poem. I wonder how much time others spend? (promp)

Oh well, keep writing and reading poetry!!! and of course... revising.


MAYA said...

You are difinately right,Calder.Rejection as not for one's self but as another point of view or critic gives us improvement. And I upload my philosophy everyday,it sometimes says "similar to previous ones"but it's always growing.
Revision must be there always,but I may suggest you to save previous ones too,it's also interesting to see past stuffs,isn't it?;-)

Have a great day!

Letty Cruz said...

Wow, again I'm awed. When I took Creative Writing-Poetry in Cal State, I discovered that the greatest pleasure of them sometimes was honing them down to their essence -- like sculpting an image or emotions. Hope -- hoping, hoping, AGAIN -- to crank down the momentum of my days and take a deep dive with words again. Thanks for sharing them <3

Calder said...

Hi Maya, again, thanks for stopping in my friend. You are pretty smart for being so young. Heck, I am 47 and it took me many years to get to a level of conciousness that you are at. Take care of you, and have a good weekend!


Calder said...

Thanks Letty! I hope you can make the time to write more but heck, we all are so busy, it's all just a matter of priority and what makes us the happiest. I am pretty much addicted to poetry so I don't have much of a choice, but I am loving it too and it's a good thing!