Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick Rules for Writing, Part 5

Work you poems. Revision is a word so over-used it is largely meaningless. We need to bring it back to life. First understand that we tend to revise for meaning and understanding. This must change for it enslaves us to what we want and not what an art demands. Dedicate revision as well to HOW the poem means. This means conscious applications of the elements of the poetic art to your poems. Learn the craft. Learn the craft. Learn the craft. Yes, poetry should be passionate but it is an art that transcends passion in search of truth and beauty. When we hear that a poem has its own life, its own direction we should act accordingly and let the poem be and become what it will, what it wants to be, not try to make it what we want. Rarely, if ever, is it right to know how the poem will end when we begin it. This flies in the face of creativity. The process of practicing the art will release all the creativity we can handle. Dedication to the features that make poetry poetry will release all the creativity we can handle. We too often want to show our passion, dedicate the poem to honoring our feelings and sensitivities. This is wrong. The poem should be a service to the art of poetry. If it is so then all the other things we think we want from the poem will be there only if appropriate. Poetry is not therapy. Revise to the greater art, not to the greater passion, the greater feeling.
So long for now.

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