Friday, July 3, 2009

Poetry Tips: En Vogue, Too Much, or Not Enough

It occurred to me the other day when an acquaintance bravely asked to read me a poem that was lovely and then related his difficulties in feeling he had too much rhyme and how many times he revised it that brought to mind my own qualms in editing my own poems. Your tip today is to abandon all the imagined critics in your head—the academic critic, the editor-of-a-particular-journal critic, the self-critic, and any other imaginary critic that begins to speak as you begin to revise or revisit your poems.
Whatever poems you come up with for the rest of the week allow them to flow out of you and leave them as they are. If you feel you are going to revise it to please a particular editor or person realize that you must first please yourself. If it pleases you, leave it alone. There is nothing wrong with rhyme, cliché subject matter, cliché phrases, so long as you enjoy the poem it is yours for the keeping.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July to all my fellow Americans!
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