A poem is your expression and you can use figurative language to make imagery with words. Just like any other creative writing, poetry needs proper editing to make sure that you are sending the theme you envisioned clearly. This is why you should always hire poetry book editors to help you. When you complete the first draft, it’s time to start the poetry editing process. 

Remember that serious poets desire to be better poetry writers, and they also want to learn how to edit their poems. Many poetry writers know the importance of editing because it gives you the chance to check and refine your work to get a better piece. This post provides some tips to help you edit your poems.

Take a break writing your poem

It can be time-consuming and hard to write poetry. After finishing your poem, it’s a good idea to take a break from the writing process. Ideally, you need to allow your brain to rest so that you can come back to writing the poem with a fresh mind. You need to read the lines with fresh eyes.

You should note that this technique works well when editing your poem as well as when editing a poem of another writer. This technique can also work better when assessing and editing your poem objectively. 

Save the first draft

One of the major reasons why editing tends to feel overwhelming is the idea that you are removing the best parts. You can decide to keep the unedited draft so that the editing process doesn’t seem like you are removing and discarding the necessary lines of poetry.

If you type your poem, you should consider printing it out. The unedited draft can remain on your computer. Editing is usually easier when you highlight and write some notes on the poem.

In this way, rather than getting rid of the important lines, you can still allow them to be there while the unused lines can be utilized in other poems. Besides, your edits can be reversible, so you can compare your edited and unedited versions for more improvements. Many good poetry book editors like to use this technique. It’s a great technique for writers who are still learning to edit poems.

Read your poem as readers would

You should read the entire poem. While doing this, you need to avoid making adjustments or editing. You should allow yourself to enjoy the words and even experience your poem like readers would. After finishing reading the poem, write down your immediate impressions and thoughts.

Some of the things you need to check include the parts that can be reinforced, strange lines or words, cramped areas, and many more. Many readers want a poem that is clear. This means the message or theme needs to come across. Reading aloud your poem and breaking it down to see what requires to be revised can be efficient and productive editing.

Improve the style

After doing the first stage of adjustments, you can now focus on style edits. A poem’s style refers to all the options that you make to enhance the meaning of a poem.

The style can include literary devices, punctuation, rhythm, mood, and many more. Check your style elements to determine how they improve the poem. Also, they should improve your writing and complement the theme and meaning of the poem.

That said, you also need to make sure that the poem doesn’t have a lot of style elements. Because poetry tends to work by using fewer words, you should sometimes remove excess words. 

Check the language of the poem

You should properly study the word choice. Each word you use needs to contribute to the structure, theme, and rhythm of the poem. You should also understand the diction and what it implies. 

The diction needs to match your style and theme. You can also find ways to maximize the effect and examine if the poem is great for oral reading. This can be an ideal time to take out your dictionary and experiment with word choice. Poetry doesn’t usually use heavy words like other type of writing

Therefore, you should remember this while editing, so you can remove unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Further, ensure that you begin and end with powerful lines for the poem to be stronger and have more impact. 

Reorder and restructure

When you complete all the writing-based edits, you should read your poem again. This is the time to assess the order and structure of the poem. You can experiment with various stanza and line orders to know which flows and sounds the best. In most cases, this can assist you to learn how to edit a poem.

Poetry usually has an aesthetic element, so try to change the lines to enable the poem to look better. If you type your poem, then you can try to alter the font. The brain can get used to seeing the same text, therefore, changing the font can help you examine it with fresh eyes and make a better structure assessment. Also, it’s easier to detect grammar and spelling errors with a font change.

Ask other people for feedback

Once you make all the edits, it is necessary to ask other people for their suggestions. You can share your poems with people you trust, such as family members, other writers, and friends and ask them for feedback. 

It’s good practice to ask other people for their suggestions about your poem. You can get some interesting analyses about your poem that can show whether or not they understand the poem the way you want it to.

Remember that you can decide what you should do with the feedback you get from other people. If you find it insightful, you can use it to perform other levels of edits. Also, you can decide not to use the feedback. This is your poem, so you can edit any way you see fit.

Likewise, you can also ask for feedback for the writer who gives you a poem to edit. This feedback can help you to figure out all the things you want to learn about editing poetry.


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