Thursday 10 January 2019

Editing Process (January 7, 2018)

I hear screams
Of “bleeping murderer"
Taunting me.

In removing
Those stillborn poems
That no longer speak
Or resonate.

Taking up space
As I search
For those lost poems
Seeking closure.

You think
I want to
Do this?

Destroying a sliver
Of my soul
In such a careless
Casual manner.
Marking me
A hideous killer
Deserving to be tarred
And feathered.

As angry shouts
Have accused me
Of being.

Therisa © 2019

Author’s note: Over the past month, I have removed about 20 partial poems, from my
writing file that no longer speak to me, in the need to write, or are long stale to my muse.


brudberg said...

The thought of what we have to kill when editing has always made me scared of editing... what a great journey to do when the result comes out like this.

Jane Dougherty said...

They are your words and you'l always have them, but in a different order :)

Kim M. Russell said...

I love your description of the editing process! I think we must all feel like that about our ‘stillborn poems / That no longer speak / Or resonate’. I’ve been doing a fair bit of rewriting recently and have been rediscovering lost poems. Still no closure, though.

Glenn Buttkus said...

I used to keep a writer's notebook; rife with smatterings, stanzas and outlines. I quit writing in it decades ago, but still glance back into it when I need a spark or a nudge.

Unknown said...

Raw emotion - the poet's dilemma.

Grace said...

Good for you to go into this editing process. Like old clothes or stuff, we need to evaluate and see if we still want them or not.

Lona Gynt said...

"As angry shouts
Have accused me
Of being."

I get it, there is more than editing going on here, there is change in life, in perspective. thank you Therisa. Lona.

Arcadia Maria said...

I always wonder when I'm editing a poem to be submitted if I'm making it better or did I just take out the best part. Editing is a chore :(
Well written. Thanks for sharing.

ms_lili said...

When I read this the thought of hoarding comes to mind. First off I'm not calling you a hoarder. More that when I think of hoarders, they never willingly give up anything they've collected because they have an attachment to each thing. Maybe there is an aspect within you trying to guilt you in the same way? The reality that you resisted the guilting and moved forward says something.

Petru J Viljoen said...

I feel exactly the same about the editing process!

robtkistner said...

This was a fascinating perspective on editing/revision Therisa. I love taking a "grammatical scalpel" to my writing, poetry and prose, old and newer. It just gets stronger and stronger the more you do trim and reshape. I never know precisely what my most effective expression is the first time. I always need to read my words, them ponder. Something better always evolves. Sometimes something very different emerges and you end up with two valid pieces. I am ALWAYS editing and revising. It is the lifeblood of my writing. Editing my life is not as easy for me. I am very stuck in my ways now at 72, so not much I seek, or am willing, to revise in my life. Stubborn grumpy old man, that's me!

Frank Hubeny said...

I like the thought of those angry shouts protesting the editing.

Sabio Lantz said...

Odd, I didn't think of poetry editing at all.
I thought of the analogy
of the various selves cavorting in our minds
of that editing
of the various ways we can be
ways we can think
Of those editings, of those choice
and of the opinions of others who watch our fumblings.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The editing/deleting process is so painful, but also so necessary. May poems of excellence survive, and may new ones be born!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Some famous writer called it "killing our darlings". You motivate me to weed out my draft folder.

annell4 said...

It is a different way to think about the process. But "cut" we must....sometimes.

Georgina said...

Oh editing, you capture the process well.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

New or old they will always be our poems.. our words and emotions we chose to pour into the world. Poignant write.

Vicki said...

Wonderful write and so true.

Susan said...

Brilliant! Reminds me of "Six Characters in Search of an Author." I think this may be why I haven't erased, discarded, etc---even though I know I'd have more room to grow without them. Apparently even the "best" forests are thinned.

Mary said...

I wonder sometimes if we all make mistakes when we heavily edit. Is it what we got rid of that really was integral to our poem? It is always a question just what to do with one's words.

ZQ said...

Great Write! Keep cleaning "house"

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A dilemma we all face! I am reminded of Sylvia Plath's 'Stillborn'. ("These poems do not live. It's a sad diagnosis...')

KB said...

Love this! I am also cleaning house and finding reading my old stuff quite cathartic as I see how far I have come.

SuyashJ said...

Yeah it can be really hard to edit. But on the bright side it's a step closer to publication

Sarah Russell said...

Oh, never get rid of them completely. Someday they will speak.

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