Is a poem ever complete? This question is one I have struggled with through most of my years of writing poetry. As much as I love revision, it’s worth locking things away or sending them off as complete, because I might go back in and change things again. I have works I considered final at one point or another, only to find myself revising it yet again, years after the fact. I learned that it is okay to do that with poetry; however, we must come to a point where we feel it is time to share with peers and colleagues. Most of the poems I have posted here are considered complete – but I cannot guarantee that a year or ten from now that will still be the case.
A few years ago, I began to assemble a tool a toolkit of sorts that is comprised of tips, tricks, and suggestions from poets I have read over the course of my education, to help my poetry become more complete. In this toolkit, aside from revision techniques, I have added ways to draw more substance with my words, by way of freshening language and creating vivid, tangible images for my readers.
Now that I have the basics for this toolkit, I can take a better look at my work after the fact to see if I created a better poem by following the advice of my peers and the experts. A mantra I use when composing poetry goes like this: “Create. Freshen. Revise. Repeat.” It gets me through the process from start to finish. (more…)
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary. – Khalil Gibran
I have written for years. If I had to state an age, I would say I started writing seriously when I was in middle school, writing hopelessly romantic sappy poems to the silly crushes I had then. I remember keeping a journal and writing about how in love I was with boy number 1, 2, 3, and so forth. Ah, to be twelve again. When high school came, I decided to take a creative writing class. I also started to learn the research writing process for a U.S. History course, and found that I really enjoyed the work.
Fast forward to college years, and my writing has improved drastically in many areas. I even discovered that I started developing my own process. As I type that sentence, I think to myself… wow – my own personal writing process. Well, to tell you the truth, we have never thought about it until we started discussing it during a graduate course I completed last year. I have always been one to write a thought that I have passing through my brain, and sometimes I find it difficult to keep them all together. I am the proud owner of many journals and online blog postings, both on my own blog and other websites. I sometimes cannot stand how my thoughts are scattered into so many areas, but I also find comfort in knowing that my work is spread out. It leaves me with room to reorganize as I go. Refining the thoughts in the attic of my mind is a task I find I do daily, but I suppose that is a writer’s life.
My personal writing process always starts the same way – freewriting. (more…)