When one revises an existing poem, it can be difficult to let go of some of its original ideas because they seem inextricable from the fabric of the composition. This has been my Achilles heel revising “Autumn”. Instead of accepting that I must forego certain parts of the original version to achieve a better work, I clung to elements I knew to be conceptually debilitating.
Over the past two days, as these shortcomings became ever more pronounced, I was forced to come to my senses; and lo, the beloved lines I lost were soon replaced by ones more fitting, liberated from the creative constraint that had plagued the revision hitherto.
“Autumn” was my first proper lyric poem.1 At the time (2012), it was an indulgence of my poetic ebullience, a manifestation of my love for Nature and Verse. Seven years later, it must be elevated into something greater: a work combining that love with skill and substance. Having embraced the inevitable, I can now do the composition justice whatever the cost to its first incarnation.
- I wrote a little about the significance of “Autumn” in my poetic journey in the fourth instalment of my “Artist Questions” series.