To renew myself as a writer of poetry, I need–every now and then–some way of re-engaging with the work of writing itself. Revision, for example, often means hard effort slogging through material I wrote long ago; but the process renews my dedication to the salvageable poems and sharpens my analytical and evaluative skills.
Sometimes there’s no saving a poem, but the concept behind it might be worth exploring in an essay.
Sometimes there’s no saving a poem, but the words needed to be expressed at that time.
Revision requires taking a stance of compassionate distance from the work itself so that I can feel both judgment and kindness toward my own poems. The bonus here is that, often, the work of revision gets me writing new work.
Beside my desk at this moment is a stack of poems I spent the past few days thinking about and revising. The work creates its own energy; the buzz of words and imagery emanates…
I feel ready to write the new year.