speaking Michelangeloly

I haven’t written many new poems lately; I’m in between inspirations. But I have been revising. I realized today that revision is my favourite part of writing. In fact, before I send a poem out to a potential publisher, I read it over and usually change something. Poems never seem to be finished.

Revision is when I banish extraneous words and move punctuation around. It is also when I replace words I threw in as a place holders. Removed from the urgency of the original inspiration I have time to chisel around the idea I wished to express in hopes that a more accurate word emerges from the stone – speaking Michelangeloly.

The most thumbed, dog-eared book in my possession is my Roget’s Thesaurus; I’ve owned it since my teen years. I love finding a word’s exact right substitute. In my opinion, Microsoft Word’s right click synonym is the best feature since drink holders in cars.

It’s rare I scrap a poem. If I think it is worthy of transcription to the computer (I write in longhand) then it usually withstands my revision process. But if it’s deemed too sappy or personal I have a little file called Really Bad Poems; there are about five or six in there.

I have scores of poems, a plethora, a multitude. I could plaster the Sistine Chapel in my poetry – I promise, I won’t. I’m just saying, if you need to read a poem – I’ve got one. Wait, let me just tweak it one more time, then you can read it.

Comments

  1. Great piece on the art of editing. The Sculptor analogy is perfect. Words are the writer’s medium and every word iin a poem is significant. As as one of my Uni Professors said, good writing is re-writing.

    1. I feel grateful I don’t actually have to sculpt. What a thing that would be! Each time inspiration hits lugging out a giant piece of marble and starting to chisel away at it. Relieved to have a little notebook and a pen.

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