Saturday, 17 April 2021

Jackie McManus : part three

How do you know when a poem is finished?

Revision could go on forever! But there is a sense of finality for me when I know I have said what I intended to say, when my word choices are the best I can make them, when I’ve gone through the whole checklist of, is it developed enough, are the line breaks right for what I want to say how I want to say it, is the form the right form for this poem, etc, etc. I send it to my two writing groups for a final critique, and sometimes I will read a poet’s work that I admire, like say, Louise Gluck, Billy Collins or I go back to Sylvia Plath’s work because reading ignites the poet in me and helps to focus my own work. 

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