3 DAYS, 3 QUOTES TAG (Day 2)

3 days, 3 tags
P.S. I’m not sure who made this, but I hope they don’t mind that I use it…

I was tagged by Sara @ The Bibliophagist !!

The Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day)
3. Nominate three new bloggers each day

My quote for Day 2:

“Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.”

–Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath, to me, is a poet who I have only been recently introduced to (as in the past 2 years), and have had to slowly take on. Her words are so beautiful, and her story so tragic. But, this quote is absolutely something that I want to swim in.

Tagged

Dhruv @ The Perks of Being Dhruv

Erin @ Undercover Binge Reader

Ashley & Katie @ Lost in Pages

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STICKY NOTES by Indy Yelich (Review)

img_8269.jpg

 

I don’t think it’s a huge secret around anyone who knows me that I have a huge, huge, huge respect for this family in general, as Ella (Lorde), is the person who pretty much helped me discover that there are people out there just like me, going through the exact same experiences. So, both her and her sister, the author of this book, Indy, I have been following on social media since around 2015. Basically, this family is a powerhouse of talent and creativity. However, I will not let any bias sway me in my thoughts towards this poetry book, so please keep that in mind.

I feel it’s only appropriate to give a bio of the author and then the description of the poetry book, in general.

Bio: Indy Yelich is a 19 year-old young writer living in a world of lights and loudness, hopping between LA and NYC (recently settling in NYC), who is the sister of the famed, young icon Lorde, and the daughter of accomplished, New Zealand poet Sonja Yelich. Indy likes M&M’s and writing sticky-note reminders to herself.

Description: sticky notes is the debut poetry collection from rising poet Indy Yelich, separated into to two section LA and NY. The poems in this collection tackle everything from heartbreak, to city life, to being “the sister”.

Basic Thoughts:

I had been aware that this was coming out for quit awhile, and was honestly half super excited, half nervous. The “half-nervous” part comes from the fact that, while it’s really unfair to compare Indy to anything but herself, I feel the world had a lot of pressure placed on her leading up to the work; she had a lot to live up to. While I understand that this stigma of being “the sister” or “the daughter” is something she wants to separate from and, as a student, is something that I try to not base my opinions on, it is an issue that is there and may be ignored by me, but won’t be ignored by some.

Before getting deeply into this, let me say I deeply commend Indy for taking that step and putting herself out there – stepping away from the stigmas that come with being the sister and daughter of people that already have such a huge reputation.

NOW, getting into the poetry itself…

It’s good. It’s actually quite good. But, just like anything, there are pros and cons.  Let’s get into it.

Pros:

  • Very easy reading; great for people unfamiliar with reading poetry
  • Very emotional and the author was able to get the point across easily
  • I think the book covers a very wide spectrum of things, which I found nice (i.e. they didn’t all harp on heartbreak, etc.)
  • Reading this made me feel really “in-touch” with the author; it was a very intimate experience
  • Extremely relatable to youth, in general

Cons

  • Some adjectives got in my way
  • I thought the content lists were poems

Overview

I marked the hell out of this one. Not with corrections, no, but just because I felt like it.

Starting with one of the pros, I felt like this book is, and is going to be, very easily accessible to people who aren’t that familiar with poetry already. All of the poetry is free verse, so you won’t see many rhyming patterns in it or anything, which I think helps it convey the emotions it wants to get through a lot easier without any of the cheese. I felt that, a lot of the time, the message Indy was trying to get across to the reader was usually pretty easy to get within the first read or two.

I feel this book does show a very wide variety of raw emotions and feelings that are easily accessible to youth (and older people reminiscing about youth), but also looking at many things from different perspectives. I felt that I was really digging into Yelich’s mind at some points.

I do have to say that I thought the two content pages in the beginning were actually poems because I’m…I don’t know. But, I’m quiet embarrassed by that, but I think Yelich should be proud that she managed to make poem titles that strung together in such a way that I thought them poems haha.

One point of contingency for me was that sometimes I felt some of the adjectives were a little over-used and could have been taken out and still had same effect on the reader, but I feel that is just any pattern you see with younger poets (including myself), so it’s nothing to really ACTUALLY fuss about, but I did have to mention it.

While the book is filled with a couple of Rupi Kaur type poems – really short, if we’re being basic about it – the majority of the book is filled with nice, full poems that make you swoon at some points (my favorites being “thievery” and “hero”, both from the LA side of the book). I feel that Indy is very in-touch with her emotions and knows how to convey that to the audience – managing to do so in her first collection

FINAL RATING: 4 out 5

Final Thoughts

Overall, I felt that this was most definitely strong first publication from Indy.

I felt all of the content were things highly relatable to my life, especially as a new adult.   This book, from what I can see, has managed to get youth reading and get people actually excited about poetry, which is one thing that is so magical about this work. I feel like Indy has a lot more to say, and I’m excited to see it.

Indy is on her way to honing her poetic voice down to a tee, and this is an amazing start to that. I’m excited to see were her career grow.

But, for now, I think she’s definitely managed to separate herself from the title of “the sister”.

Best,

Daniel xx

Buy the book here.


I did a really cool interview with a local poet that you can check out here!

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH A PUBLISHED POET: Carrie Meadows

“Cindy Lauper was my hero…”

Carrie Meadows, Professor at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and author of poetry book Speak, My Tongue, was able to to sit down with me and have a chat about writing and her life growing up as a child in the 80s, writing her first story book, as well as give some tips for people who are currently writing themselves.

For readability (as sometimes spoken word is different from what is easily read), some of the questions and answers have been shortened or slightly modified in their wording; however, I tried to keep the answers so they reflected the full extent of her true answer. For the FULL interview where Meadows answers questions such as Where do you typically write? and What led you to start teaching as well as a delving into more of her family life and a  bonus activity – Bot or Not  you can check the video up top (highly recommended).

Carrie Meadows Bio:

carrie-meadows

Carrie Meadows teaches creative, professional, and academic writing at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Mid-American Review and other publications. She is the author of Speak, My Tongue, a poetry collection from Calypso Editions (2017) celebrating self-taught artists of the American South.

About Speak, My Tongue:

speak, my tongue

Speak, My Tongue is a wholly original and unforgettable debut that combines poems of family trauma with poems in the voices of visionary artists who see the world through the lens of the spiritual and spectral. In this book, the corporeal and the divine cohabitate with each other, intermingling with violence, poverty, race, and the landscape of the American South in all its history, glory, complexities, and shame. These poems are luminous, tight, wondrous songs that give voice to artists who were outsiders of all kinds—self-taught, on the margins of society, often perceived as crazy—and limn their prayers, confessions, declarations, stories, and exclamations with force and grace.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What was your childhood like? How do you think that has influenced your writing today?

My childhood was, I think, pretty typical of an 80s, southern kid.

My parents were divorced when I was really young, so I lived with my mom primarily. In the 70s and 80s they had this theory were you split the kids in families during a divorce, so my brother lived in a different house than I did. So, he lived with my dad, and I lived with my mom. And the only reason that matters is that it left some time for imagination, because I didn’t have my brother around the way that I think I would have if we had lived in the same household all the time.

Honestly, I wasn’t a reader. I really wasn’t a writer as a kid, [either]. I just wanted to be outside all the time, so I played a lot of sports. But, I didn’t find the world of books until I was in high school.

I go back, and I think the first little book I made – a complete story – in the 4th grade. It’s about whether a squirrel was run over in the road or not – it’s a really strange, morbid thing.

What were your dreams as a young child?

Because I was around all of these women who were always making things, making things was really important to me. [Also], I feel, like most kids around my age, I really wanted to be an astronaut.

One of my dreams was to go to space camp. I never went, but I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. And, when I was a kid, we were still sending shuttles to space fairly regularly. But, for me, the big moment in my childhood was watching the Challenger explosion in real time at school. There was so much focus on space when I was a kid, so I was really captivated by that. So, we had our whole grade in a classroom huddled around a TV, but we didn’t really understand what had happened. It was shocking, but it didn’t really dampen my excitement for space.

I know you mentioned something about a dead squirrel or something, but do you remember one of the first things you ever wrote?

That was probably it!

So, we were in this program, I was in maybe 4th grade, and we would read to either kindergarteners or first graders. And, I really loved it. So, the big thing we did at the end of this program is that we wrote and illustrated our own book to read to our partner.

Yeah. So, this book [I wrote was] in the shape of a squirrel. The whole premise was this little girl sees a spot in the road and is, like, terrified that it’s her favorite squirrel from her yard.

I remember my mom being a little nervous about what it meant. My mom still has it. It’s pretty funny.

Do you remember the first thing that you wrote that got accepted into publication? How did that feel?

The first thing that was accepted was a poem. I was in graduate school at Virginia Tech, where I got my M.F.A., and I had been in a masters program at the University of New Mexico where I studied fiction and had worked really hard at [it]. But, I had not had a lot of publishing success. I was a little frustrated by that. I was working towards writing these tighter and tighter pieces – moving more towards flash or micro fiction. So, by the time I got to Virginia Tech, I was working on these really tight pieces.

Around midway through my time there, I realized that my interest was really poetry. And so I went from New Mexico, writing these really long pieces, and they were so long that they weren’t really publishable because nobody wants a 40 page short-story. Then, I swung to this really tight stuff and landed at poetry.

I had been researching professional wrestling – which was another one of my loves as a child. I was a kid in the 80s, I mean Cindy Lauper was my hero. So, I learned when I was at Virginia Tech that there was a formal professional wrestler name Jimmie Valiant, also known as Boogie-Woogie Man, that ran a wrestling camp, like, 20 minutes from campus. And, so, I visited that a few times, and I really wanted to enroll. But, I didn’t because I had some rock-climbing injuries. I thought better of it. But, I loved it, and so I started looking back and writing more about wrestling beyond my childhood interest.

At the camp it’s interesting because they were teaching people to take on the various roles of professional wrestling, so my first poem [to get published] was, actually, a professional wrestling poem. And it’s interesting because it’s a prose poem, so it kind of shows that micro-fiction/flash-fiction kind of root. So, I was really excited about that.

So, did it feel like it was a long time coming?

It didn’t feel like a really long time coming. I didn’t focus on creative writing as an undergraduate, it was just something I took classes when I could on the side. I was an English major, but I was a literature focus. So, I spent 2 years at the University of New Mexico and felt like I wasn’t finding my ground – my space in fiction. And I was a little bit frustrated by that.

So, yeah, by the time I sort of made that shift from thinking of myself as a fiction writer to thinking of myself as a poet and having written this piece that kind of stands at the cross-section of those two things, I was really excited. Maybe more relieved than anything.

I mean, you go for a number of years without many readers to Yeah, we want to publish this, This is something we think is valuable. It’s hard to keep your energy up. So, I was grateful.

When you write today, what do you draw inspiration from?

So, I talked about fiction. One of the reasons I struggled to write fiction was that – the reason it was either really long or really short – was because I love research. I’m a total research nut. So, I almost get more invested on learning about a place or a character or something than actually doing the writing. But, I’m still really, really interested in research.

So, my book, Speak, My Tongueis largely research based – focusing on self taught visionary artists of the south. I write about myself and experiences a fair amount, but I rarely put those out for publication. Those are usually, kind of, my starter places. So, for me it’s about finding connections between my experience, the way I see things, and places or other people’s lived experience. I find that way more interesting then just me.

So, the more personal stuff, for the most part, is a tie in to recognizing the people in my family to the people I had been researching.

As a teacher, have you ever felt the need to tell a student that writing isn’t the right path for them?

I’m not the kind of person who believes that a person needs to have this innate thing you bring to the table. It’s all about are you going to take the challenge to be better, are you going to read enough? Like, understand where your influences are coming from.

And the thing is, as a young student, I would write things thinking they were so precious and amazing and new, and the thing is, if I had read more, I would have realized that it was not new. Ya’ know? You got to take the time to learn.

Reading is so important. You just learn so much.

What are some words of advice you have for young writers?

I think it doesn’t apply to just young writers – I think it’s any writers.

Just, keep going and read. Just read stuff. That’s where I get excited again.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE POEM BELOW

After The Funeral
by Carrie Meadows

for Gale

Mamma walks the hall, tinfoil in her mouth.

O don’t I know the taste of Papa-dead-

and-gone. I fix what others break, I push

parts back in place. But this—

                                      Now I know why

the pecan stays buckled in its coat, why

one in twenty turns black as rot. Mercy’s

roasting, and Mamma’s kicking the oven

to 400 degrees saying, Wait and see

what becomes of this egg, this sugar.

This loss—

                           Mamma’s pumpkin pie, a thumbprint

through its center. I fix what others break,

but Mamma’s pretending she can’t hear a thing

though her fork scrapes her plate. The sound is pain,

a kettle whistling its last breath of steam.

What does this poem mean to you?

So, that one is kind of a misfit, because it doesn’t fit in tightly with the project.

It’s written for my closest friend, and I wrote it just after her father died. And, her mom is this amazing cook. So, I guess if we were going to talk about folk art, I think cooking comes into play. So, beyond that, it really is a misfit.

After her father passed away, she and her mom were really struggling, and her mom’s response was cooking. And, I think that’s common. We find a way to work through our grief. So, this is just sort of about her mom working through the grief.

So, this narrator, do you think she feels a need to fill in that place where the father has been?

I don’t know if the speaker feels the need to fill in so much, but the speaker is inspired by my friend. She very much is the kind of person who wants to fix things for other people, and when things fall apart for her, it’s that same response – what can I do to fix other people? So, this is me kind of imagining that perspective of who she is in the need to repair and to help and be the rock to help everybody else.

I think things had settled a bit, but it was at the point where these two people are trying to figure out, like, where do you go from hereYou know, there’s all of these preparations for a funeral and then there’s that quiet moment after where you have to deal with the fact that it happened.

CHALLENGE

I let Meadows choose from three songs from the Billboard Hot 100, blindly, and had her mark up the lyrics like she would a college, entry-level, creative assignment and then give it a grade.

Here were the results:

EPSON MFP image
“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

Meadows: What I would have said in this one, in the context of poetry, is we get good and specific, and we start really understanding the relationship. I would challenge Ed Sheeran to keep pushing. But, you know, musicians are working towards different goals. So, it’s a little unfair.

CLOSING

First let me give a HUGE HUGE HUGE THANK YOU to Carrie Meadows for allowing me and giving me her time for this interview. She is such an amazing person and writer – truly a gem. I strongly encourage you to listen to the full interview HERE (or go to the top of this post).

To buy a copy of her book, Speak, My Tongue, you can click here.

It was such a pleasure being able to talk to this amazing woman, and I hope someone out there was able to make the connection or draw inspiration from this. I sure did.

really want to do more things like this (interviews, etc.), but please tell me what you guys think about it!

As always, thank you so much for reading.

Best,

Daniel xx

FRIDAY FAVORITES: Week 3 (February 2nd, 2018)

Another Friday, another list of favorites! To give you little bit of background, Friday Favorites serves as post where I give you some of my favorite things throughout my week that may or may not have to do anything with books or writing, haha.

Here’s the criteria.

This list will consist of my weekly favorite:

  • Physical Thing
  • Non-Physical Thing (This can include but is not limited to anything from Movies, Videos or Online Articles)
  • Song

 

FAVORITE PHYSICAL THING

Starbucks’s Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

IMG_1783

While Starbucks 85% of the time burns my espresso, they seem to always get this one right!..at least so far.

Coming in at only 60 calories for a grande, I love to sip on this while I study/do homework and/or write.

 

FAVORITE NON-PHYSICAL THING

botpoet.com

While I really haven’t gotten to play around with this site a lot, I thought it was quite interesting! It’s basically a game where you have to guess if the poem was written by a computer or an actual person. Haha, very fun, especially if you like poetry.

 

FAVORITE SONG

“If U Seek Amy” by Britney Spears

Listen to it here.

220px-If_U_Seek_Amy

A coworker mentioned this song, and I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it/remembered it. When I looked it up, as a pop music enthusiast, I was immediately impressed just by what it was getting away with. Considering this song was released in 2009, it’s really a marvel. Not only is it catchy, but it’s also extremely clever.

While you could find a million things to criticize about this song, it’s hard not to admit its catchiness and way to manipulate standards in the industry. A song definitely worth resurfacing.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I have something neat going up on here sometime in the near future, though I’m not entirely sure when. I’m excited for the month of February!

Anyway, these were just my favorites, and if you don’t like them, then keep in mind that these are just the honest opinions of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

 

WRITING POETRY: Tips for Revising and Editing Your Poems

For a long while, in my overall experience of writing poetry, I was under the strict opinion that what was first written in your poem was how it was meant to be – that editing a poem was stupid. Poems are raw emotions, right? They shouldn’t be toiled with.

Well, I’m happy to say that my first semester at University has strongly changed my opinion on that.

In this post, I’ll show you the before, middle, and after of the editing process of a poem I had workshopped in class, as well as explain some tips on how and when you should consider editing your poem.

The First Draft

I was fortunate enough to be in a Creative Writing workshop during my first semester at University, and our first task was poetry. We had to have three poems, one of which needed to be a narrative.

So, I went to it! I ended up using a poem I wrote in a single sitting for my narrative work, entitled “Monsters of the Night”. Here was my first draft:

Monsters of the Night

by Daniel Peralta

 

The bus stop loomed over

The boy like the monsters

Hiding under his bed.

 

His father sat beside him

And tapped his foot

On the concrete to the

 

Pounding rhythm of

The people around

Them on the street.

 

The backpack on the boy’s

Back weighed heavier then

The things on his mind.

 

Three bottles of water,

A Kit-Kat bar and

Three bars of soap.

 

You know where to go?

His father asked him just

As the squeaky brakes

 

Of the bus halted

The metal giant in front

Of them. He nodded.

 

The doors opened,

The boy stood and

His father hugged him.

 

I love you, Dad, the boy

Said just as he was pushed

Away and caught his first

 

Foot up the steps to the

Empty, three AM bus

Of Seattle nighttime.

 

By the time he sat down,

His father was gone

And so were the people.

 

To be honest with you, when I first wrote this, I didn’t see a problem with it. And looking at it now, it’s definitely not the worst draft someone could have on their hands, but as you start to delve into it, you start to notice issues.

Editing Tip #1: Edit Things Confusing to the Audience

Poetry is a beautiful art, and super fun to write. However, when poetry becomes confusing, that’s when you start losing your readers.

Let’s take, for instance, the final two lines of the poem:

His father was gone / And so were the people.

The first comment I had about this from the professor was “What people are you talking about?”

To me, the writer, I thought it was completely obvious that I was referring to this line:

The people around them / On the street.

But, it happened so long agoEIGHT stanzas to be exact – that the reader can easily forget and not make the connection that I wanted them to make.

You have to keep in mind when writing poetry that, yeah, sure, this is about yourself and getting feelings out, but what’s the point of trying to express your feelings to the audience if the audience you’re trying to tell it to can’t even understand what’s going on?

My fix for this, in the final edition, ended up being to remove “the people” all together, because my focus wasn’t on them. It was about the relationship I was trying to build between the son and father.

Editing Tip #2: Don’t Be Vague

Okay, sure, including little things inside your poems that only you get is great, but including those things in your poem and not clarifying them for your audience can lead to disaster.

An example from the top are the lines:

The backpack on the boy’s / Back weighed heavier then / The things on his mind.

Not to mention the obvious typo (more on that later), while in the next stanza I explain what’s in the boy’s backpack, I never explain to the reader what’s on his mind. Yeah, it may be obvious with the whole father thing, but how does the reader know that? As a reader, can you read my mind? I didn’t think so. He could have been thinking about tacos or the next Lorde album. NO ONE KNOWS.

DO NOT BE VAGUE WHEN YOU CAN AVOID IT. A simple explanation would have cleared this right up. And that’s how you can fix it, most of the time. Most poetry is trying to express or show something in a different format with fewer words, which makes it different from most fiction. Don’t confuse your reader and waste your precious word count by including things that either a) don’t belong or b) make no sense with the rest of the poem.

In this case, and in other cases, the best revision option was to make the poem slightly longer by offering an explanation of what was on his mind. As the author, you have to know what the poem needs and how to fix that (by deleting or adding) to make sure your reader isn’t lost along the way.

Revision #1

While some poems can be fixed in one go, this one took twice at revising in order for it to get where I wanted it to. This was my second shot at it:

Monsters of the Night

by Daniel Peralta

 

The bus stop loomed over

The boy like the monsters

Hiding under his bed.

 

His father sat beside him

And tapped his foot

On the concrete to the

 

Pounding rhythm of

The people around

Them on the street.

 

The backpack on the boy’s

Shoulders weighed heavier than

The things on his mind –

 

A combination of middle

School crushes and the zit

That hurt on his forehead

 

Compered to

 

Three bottles of water,

A box of Cheeze-Its and

Three bars of soap.

 

You know where to go?

His father asked him just

As the squeaky brakes

 

Of the bus halted

The metal giant in front

Of them. He nodded.

 

The doors opened,

The boy stood and

His father hugged him.

 

I love you, Dad, the boy

Said just as he was pushed

Away by the hands that once

 

Had a part in his making,

His being – the person he used

To want to be in ten years.

 

Foot up the steps to the

Empty, three AM bus

Of Seattle nighttime

 

And Greyhound smells

All the way to who-knows-

Where? The ticket

 

Said Los Angeles, but the

Boy said Take me home, and

So it was done and he was

 

On the bus – empty seat to

Empty seat as he walked to the

Back near the bathroom.

 

By the time he sat down,

His father was gone

 

And

 

so

 

were

 

the

 

monsters.

 

 

I know, I know: What Happened?

Improvements:

  • I clarified what was on the boy’s mind (Stanza 5)
  • I took out “the people” line at the very end
  • I expressed more thoughts and emotion about the boy’s thoughts on what was going on

Issues:

  • What are the people still doing in there? (Stanza 3)
  • The poem seems really too long for the eye and how I want it
  • Choppy and abrupt

Editing Tip #3: More Stanzas Does Not Mean a Better Poem

Sometimes shorter stanzas and lots of them is the way to go. In this case, however, I just felt it wasn’t working. This was supposed to be a narrative poem, right? And I just felt with the short, choppy stanzas, the point wasn’t getting across.

This is where knowing the message you want to convey comes in handy. Stanzas and line breaks, even if it’s a small one, give your reader slight pause while their eyes shift down to the next line or stanza. And since I was going for more of a “story” aspect here, the short stanzas weren’t working for me, as I wanted more flow to the overall story.

Don’t think that because you have more stanzas that the poem will be better. Sometimes less is more.

Editing Tip #4: Typos Aren’t Cool…Most of the Time

When your poems call for a certain style (i.e. all lowercase, etc) it’s fine to stretch the limits, but careless mistakes such as the wrong “your or you’re” or “there or their” or “then or than”  just makes you look uneducated and can make the reader stop reading faster than any of the other issues I’ve listed above.

Final Draft

That all being said. This was what I finally ended up with:

Monsters of the Night

by Daniel Peralta

 

The bus stop loomed over the boy like the monsters

Hiding under his bed. His father sat beside him

And tapped his foot on the concrete.

 

The backpack on the boy’s shoulders weighed heavier than

The things on his mind –

A combination of middle school crushes and the zit

That hurt on his forehead

 

Compered to

 

Three bottles of water,

A box of Cheeze-Its and

Three bars of soap.

 

You know where to go? His father asked him just

As the squeaky brakes of the bus halted

The metal giant in front of them.

He nodded.

 

The doors opened, the boy stood and

His father hugged him. I love you, Dad,

the boy said just as he was pushed

Away by the hands that once

 

Had a part in his making,

His being – the person he used

To want to be in ten years.

 

Foot up the steps to the empty, three AM bus

Of Seattle nighttime and Greyhound gone

All the way to who-knows-where?

 

The ticket said Los Angeles, but the

Boy said Take me home, and

So it was done and he was

 

On the bus – empty seat to

Empty seat as he walked to the

Back near the bathroom.

 

By the time he sat down,

His father was gone

 

And

 

so

 

were

 

the

 

monsters.

 

What Changed

In the end, I am quite proud of my revisions.

  • I was able to finally remove these “people” that had nothing to do with anything, so the reader was able to focus more on the father and son.
  • I was able to condense the stanzas, making for a better flow, making the reader more apt to read it how I wanted them to read it.
  • I think you can really feel the layers of pain the boy is feeling – surface level and psychologically – better then in the first draft
    • Doing this solidified both the boy and the dad. We now know how the boy feels do to his father.

Bonus Editing Tip: Adding an Author’s Note

Sometimes it’s okay to add a brief note explaining something in your poem that is vague that you felt could not be changed – whether for artistic reasons or not.

For example, I wrote a poem entitled “Sunrise Dance”. Not everyone knows what a “Sunrise Dance” is, and without the audience knowing that vital information, the entire meaning would have fallen through the cracks.

So, sometimes it’s okay to be like:

Note: A Sunrise Dance is a practice carried out, traditionally, by the Apache Indians when a girl is transitioning into becoming a woman.

Short and to the point. Now your audience knows what’s up.

FINAL NOTES

Poetry has a bad history with people who don’t read that often and who read every day in that it is “too confusing”. When writing poetry – or anything, really –  you not only need to think of yourself, but of your audience and having what you want to get across to them actually get across.

The last thing you want to do to your audience is confuse them. Confusing your audience if one of the fastest ways to make them say “Oh, no. Them.” whenever they see another one of your poems.

But, in the end, this is your poem. Make it what you want. Writing is all about the author until your done and it gets into the hands of it’s first reader – then it’s all theirs to make of what they want to. But, what does it really matter what I think? This is just the honest opinion of an English Major.

Best,

Daniel xx

Note: You are welcome to quote this post or the poem as long as recognition is given to the author. Thank you for reading!