Is there ever a time when you are not happy with a word or words in a poem? Do you spend time trying to change the word and/or wording, or move on?
I find words to change in my poems all the time - my writing process (after the intial spark) - is to get it down quite quickly and as it comes and then leave it anything from an hour or so to months and then look at it again. The changing process goes on until it will stand publishing, then I look at it every so often in case I see anything more I only have one poem that I wrote out in one go and never touched again.
Do you mean in one's own poems, or in the poetry of others? Because I often find myself reading a poem someone has posted online, and thinking, "Dang, that rhyme is forced, and the line has two beats too many. I wonder what it would be like if we used this other word instead..."
But rarely do folks who post poetry online want unsolicited editorial suggestions, and so I usually don't say anything.
As for my own verse, I edit and edit and edit. Once in a great while I'll knock out a poem in one go, but those moments are very rare.
There is often times I'm not happy with a poem. Sometimes they come easy sometimes not. With ones I am a bit iffy about I leave for a few months and then come back to them
it's rare that I change the word/wording of a poem, but now that I'm writing more of them I usually use an online rhyming dictionary to determine what the next line will be (based on what rhymes, of course!)
I'm working on moving away from emotion based poetry to come out with ideas or themes or whatever. Seems to be going okay. (I post them on Facebook as Notes)
For me, writing poetry is most certainly an interative process. Each iteration refines it more until I consider it a finished product. Even then, I may revisit a poem with fresh eyes after a couple of weeks and revise it again. At some point, though, I know I am happy with it and I don't touch it again.
I don't write that many poems; and when it comes to poems I take at all seriously, I really don't write too many of those. Still, when I do, it's pretty common for me to have one or two words that just don't sit well in a poem that I'm otherwise pretty OK with. If I leave the word/words it will bother me each and every time I run into the poem. I've done it from time to time, but I inevitably change the word(s) in question because it just irks the heck out of me not to fix it. When the words feel right you just kind of know it, and when they're a little off you know that too.
If I can't think of replacement words I'll re-word other lines (etc) in order to get the "bugaboo issue" fixed. Sometimes that's just easier.
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