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The last word may be the editor’s but the first editing belongs to the poet. From the moment of inspiration, through the act of writing the poem, to the final draft is more than putting words on paper in poetic form. It requires dedication to the finished product, a personal desire for perfection and commitment to the best the poem can be. There’s an urgency to convey the feeling or experience to others, for I believe poetry is, like all art, a form of revelation and communication; it should be comprehensible and grammatical. But it should also lead the reader in unexpected directions, open new insights, and explore the human situation.
Having written a poem, I usually leave it for a few days, or months, before editing.I re-read it with a fresh perspective, better able to see errors and where meaning is unclear.
I check whether imagery is relevant, language fresh and without clichés. Phrases like “Every cloud has a silver lining” come so easily that som…