… poetry can be edited, maybe it can even be enhanced at an initial stage, but once a poem is printed, it’s printed. What I’m wondering most about lately are the impressions an author/artist leaves on an audience and what makes an audience object to an artist’s work.

Once a is poem written down and published, it’s published–or so it seems to me. I really don’t understand what joy some people get out of rehashing an already finished product. I don’t understand this method of critique. Sure, I can change a poem to suit my own sensibility, but where would that get the poem? What does that do for an already published piece? Maybe a workshop poem could stand some treatment, but published?

Although, I suppose from any reader’s standpoint, perhaps the reader could’ve done better–they could’ve changed the poem to suit the reader. Don’t we all see ourselves as writing things better? Personally, I think that writing better entails writing poems different, and writing different poems better. It entails taking what we read, learning from what is before us, and interpreting, hopefully improving on what we read and learning from what we read, thus enhancing a product that we can place before the reader. Or not.

7 thoughts on “Maybe

  1. Everything surrounding the various definitions, uses of, and reactions to clichés in poetry is pretty fascinating. And I mean everything

  2. Nice B. I so want a set of those. Imagine the endless already said set of possibilities!

  3. There’s one poet, from a waaay back, who believed that a poem was never finished, that one only let go of it for a time. Be darned if I can remember who it was…

    Anyway, it makes sense to me, that a poem is never finished. I know I’ve had pieces published in journals that now look nothing like the originally published piece.

    We grow and change, why shouldn’t our poems?

  4. I probably wasn’t clear in my rant. Let me try to be a little clearer.

    I’m not saying you can’t change your own poem after publication, (I know many people do) my beef here is with the critic, and the rewriting of the poem to better suit the critic’s evaluation of the poem/s. Whose voice does the critic want to see in the poem? Their own? I suppose my belief is that a review of a poem should look at what the poem is trying to do, how it achieves or doesn’t achieve what it sets out to do. I like to think that a poet’s voice is integral to the poem through the choice of language, not just words.

  5. Oh, gawd, I don’t think we should pay any attention to literary critics, not if we want to write good poetry. A critic offers only one biased opinion.

    I think we can learn a lot from colleagues who know our tendencies, who help to grow our work and our practice. What use is the opinion of one who knows not a thing about us, really, compared to that of one who knows us?

  6. i equate that kind of criticism (the kind you originally blogged about) with the armchair coaches of the world who yell at the TV over their beers when their team isn’t digging into the corner. or whatever. me: well, YOU better suit up and get out there and show those young, agile men/women how it’s done!

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