Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Elizabeth Ross : part three

How do you know when a poem is finished?

Mostly when enough time has passed that I can get into it objectively. I think finished-ness ideally happens after it’s been written, revised, left alone for awhile, and then read by someone else, ideally an editor or another writer, and I’ve had a chance to think about their comments and revise some more. And publication is a pretty good sign a poem is done, but not necessarily a guarantee.

There are other ways for a poem to be finished: sometimes a poem ends up being more of a process than a poem, or more of a thought exercise, and it kind of finishes itself — it was its own point. So, finished — and left on my hard drive (hopefully!).

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