How do you know when a poem is finished?
I’m not sure that I ever know a poem is finished, as in “complete” (I can tell when a poem is finished as in “dead”), and I’m always ready to open up a poem for further tinkering. I resist the idea that a poem has an absolute terminal, a Nirvana at which it arrives perfect and whole. That said, I often define constraints or parameters for my writing. These help me decide when a poem is sufficiently developed to start sharing, itself an experience which almost always pushes the poem to grow further, beyond where I thought the conclusion should be based on its parameters.