Some wonderful thoughts on editing poetry. As always, I disagree with some of it (‘gate of the mind’ is in no way an inferior phrase to ‘the mind’s gate’, which has a completely different feel. But overall this is wonderful – I can’t wait to have a go at some of these ideas.
None of the advice below is written by me – it was given to me at last week’s Wolf At The Door retreat, by one of the retreat leaders. I have no idea if Vishvantara wrote these points herself, but if she did she’s a genius. I hope and trust that she won’t mind my sharing them on.
Fifteen Ways Of Working On A Poem
- Take an unfinished poem of twenty-five to forty lines or more. Remove half of the lines (whichever hand-picked lines you choose). Now cut it in half again. Scream as loudly as you like.
- Take a poem of ten or twenty lines and make it forty or fifty. Stretch it, milk it, pad it, free-associate, spider-diagram it and repeat things in Spanish if you have to.
- Find the energetic points. Where are the ‘hot’ areas? Put one as your first line. Put another as your last…
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