Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Jill Mceldowney : part two

How do you know when a poem is finished?

I think there are varying degrees of ‘finished’ when it comes to poetry. A poem will ask to be finished, or ask you to leave it alone.

I hold the (probably unpopular) opinion that there comes a definitive point when a poem is finished or is as close to complete as it will ever be. I find the idea that ‘a poem is never finished’ too sentimental, too romantic. There is definitely such a thing as ‘overworking’ the poem and there is definitely a point where the only thing the poem needs from the poet is for the poet to step away.

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