Poetry in Progress

Hi everyone and Happy Sunday.  The sun is shining and I’ve just come back from the park with the boys. I love spending the summer with my boys. And we visited a new park so the Summer Quest poem wasn’t just an empty promise!

Today, I want to share with you an edit of my poem about poetry that I shared with you in my very first blog post.  Remember that far back? Well I almost didn’t as I’d forgotten I’d published that one on the blog.  Well a few days ago, stuck for an idea for a new poem, I thought I’d go through some of my work and rate it. It is sometimes the case that when you write a poem you think Wow! This is great! But when you return to it you might think Ooh that one needs a bit of work!   Well when I revisited the poem in question, I did feel that it needed a bit of polishing.  Reading it through again, I could see why a voter on Poemhunter rated it 5/10. It shows promise but it does need a bit of TLC.  First I will remind you of the poem in it’s original form, to save you scrolling all the way down. Kind, aren’t I!

My poems start with a rush of emotion.
I quickly drink it in like a potion.
I throw some words around in my head
While on the nursery run or lying in bed.
For this feeling I have been waiting so long,
For all those years I was getting it wrong.
For all this time I’ve been writing fruitless prose,
And nothing seemed to come to a close.
What I’d forgotten was that when I was at school
Some of my poems were actually quite cool.
Then one day soon after I had my first son,
I read a friend’s father’s poem and thought  “I could write one!”
And in a few days the poem was written,
But still by the bug I had not yet been bitten.
That poem didn’t see the light of day
Until my son’s fourth birthday.
Encouraged by comments I decided to write more,
And at last this genre I started to explore.
And now it seems I have found a new voice.
And finally I have made the right choice
I am not an author I am a poet
And now at last I can finally show it.

Jen Elvy

The first change I made was changing the word “father” to “dad”  in the 12th line to cut down the number of syllables in the line, which improves the flow.  So it now reads:
I read a friend’s dad’s poem and thought “I could write one” 

The next change I made was to the end of the poem. I have never really been sure of the final couplet.  I changed the final line a while ago as it was too cliched, but reading the poem back, I wondered if I actually needed those last two lines.  What if I ended the poem on the line “And Finally I have made the right choice” ?  This line would conclude that I have made the right choice of genre after years of indecision.   Reading it once again, it actually worked so that was a big improvement.

The final major edit took a while to come together but it was worth it.  I decided I did not like the couplet:

And in a few days the poem was written
But still by the bug I had not been bitten

For some reason it just didn’t sound right anymore.  I started by playing around with alternative words for “written” and thinking of rhyming lines but I just couldn’t think of anything that really worked.  Then it occured to me that I had gone from saying that I could write a poem, to talking about the finished article and hadn’t mentioned the writing phase so I came up with some lines about this, plus mentioning what the poem was about, which I felt I wanted to do as it explained why I chose my son’s birthday to publish it, as the poem was about his birth.  You can read this first poem in my second blog post “My Story Poems” Meanwhile here is the edited version of my poem:

Poetry

My poems start with a rush of emotion.
I quickly drink it in like a potion.
I throw some words around in my head
While on the nursery run or lying in bed.
For this feeling I have been waiting so long,
For all those years I was getting it wrong.
For all this time I’ve been writing fruitless prose,
And nothing seemed to come to a close.
What I’d forgotten was that when I was at school
Some of my poems were actually quite cool.
Then one day soon after I had my first son,
I read a friend’s dad’s poem and thought  “I could write one!”
And as I began to write, words started to flow
And a forgotten talent began to grow
And before too long I had written a rhyme
About meeting my son for the very first time
But it wasn’t until my son’s first birthday
That the poem saw the light of day
Encouraged by comments I decided to write more, 

 And last this genre I started to explore.
 Now it seems I have found a new voice.
And finally I have made the right choice 

Jen Elvy

I hope you enjoy the poem and the improvements I’ve made.   While writing this blog, I happened to notice that I have three consecutive words lines starting with “For” and then at the end, I had another three starting with the word “And”  I decided to leave the “For” lines as they were for now as they work quite well but for the three “And lines” I just removed an “and” in the next to last line to break it up a bit.

Who knows, maybe I will come back to this poem and edit a little more.  I recently read a quote saying that a poem is never finished.  In some cases this is true, as it is always good to come back to work and tweak it a bit.  But can too much tweaking spoil a poem? Maybe sometimes.  I will leave that for you to decide.

Thank you for reading,

Jen x

 

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