Should you ever just give up on a poem?
Some poems come out almost fully formed, just perfect straight out of the fire, like a gift from from the gods. Others have to be wrangled, sawed, sanded, polished and, in some cases, given a full body-transplant. What makes it worse is, a poem can be this close to brilliance and then it takes months and sometimes years to actually get it right.
So you have a decision to make as a poet. Luckily, you get the chance to make the decision over and over. Basically, what you have to decide with each poem is: how much can revision help? Usually the answer is: a lot. Even if you only make small changes or a small change to a given poem, the results can be dramatic.
There are times, though, when you just have to let go.
Some poems just fail.
Unfortunately, there's no rule when it comes to making this judgment call. And it's liable to be different, in any case, for each poem. Given, these vagaries, here's a few points that I've found helpful over the years:
I also have a thought on not revising or refusing to revise your poems: that's why your poems aren't working for anyone else but you.
So do your poems a favor and shine them as best you can.
If you hate revising and polishing, consider two options (best used together!):
1) Have me do it for you! Click the "Poem Polisher" button below. I've helped lots of poets.
2) Use my 7 Secrets of Poetry pdf as a guide for revision.
Poems Written: 307
Rejections: 20 (13 tiered)
Poem written today: "Street Steel"