Revision

Now that April is over and we can all sigh and try to form coherent sentences, it’s time to move on.

Poetry never rests.

The Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild has challenged us to take one of the poems we wrote for PAD and revise it by exchanging some of our words with synonyms. I chose a poem I wrote for the Shakespeare prompt for PAD. That prompt was to use words created by Shakespeare and write a poem. I ended up deleting many of those words. (Sorry, William) It is striking how changing a few words can heighten (or lessen) the impact of a poem. Revision is the best friend of a poet. Although I know some poets who never need to revise.

I have learned I am not one of them.

Photo credit: Shena Pamella / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The original:

“A Noiseless Grovel”

I think of you Only of you
Standing long the boulevard
Lightly in a sprinkle of lattes
and lemonades In and out
of flattery and smiles.

I think of you Only of you
Not as a misfit or the thief
of my lips Not to win or woo
like all our yesterdays, but
to read the color of your
moods I could live without
them Shake a fist at them.
But I can’t disbelieve them.

I think of you Only of you
noiselessly dwindling in
the shallows of my blue
apologies like a bandit
before dawn But, I’m a
flawed critic My aim is
for falling strong together
in the weeds of our love.

The revised version

“A muted plea”

I think of you
Only of you
Lingering along the avenue
Lightly in a shower of lattes
and lemonade greedy for
sweet talk and flattery

I think of you
Only of you
Not as rebel or the swindler
of my lips Not to shame or attain
our yesterdays, but to interpret
the shade of your moods There
are so many that slowly burn
a hole in my soul But I don’t
have faith in your moods. I
have faith in you.

I think of you
Only of you
Fading behind the shallows
of my sad little defenses like
a bandit in the night. My
judgment may be naive
but my intent is that we fall
strong together into the
yesterdays of our young love.

~~~

Better?

I think so.

Try it with one of your poems.

Revision is worth the wait. And effort.

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6 thoughts on “Revision

  1. Hmmm … some of the revisions I’ve read strike me as being most definitely better, or less to my liking than the original. But these two versions are both striking to me, and I can’t say I prefer one to the other. Nice work!

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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