Bunjil Place

The Revision Process

IP - The Revision Process

I'm just finishing the last lesson for the brilliant Online Poetry class I've been doing with Pip Smith. I can't reccommend this class highly enough. Pip is a brilliant teacher and you get great feedback on the poems you submit in response to the assignments for each week.

This lesson is all about the process of revision and I wanted to share with you some thoughts I had about my process after responding to this question from Pip:

Do you have a reliable revision process? If so, do share!


And here's my answer of sorts:

When I write a poem, I don't start out with a long, paragraph or chunk of writing. I tend to write my first draft in lines, breaking them with natural pauses. I'm interested in trying the paragrpah approach to see if that chages my thinking / writing and adds more lyricism to my poetry. I suspect it might shift my work from bare/bald to colourful/descriptive.

Hmm, interestingly I haven't thought much about the revision process of writing poetry, however, I've thought a lot about the creative process of writing poetrry (and written lots of poems about it!). I really like your clay sculpting analogy (or is it a meataphor?). I think you've set me off on a whole new direction!

I think I often revise as I go. Crossing out words, leaving spaces for words I know should be there but can't think of at the time, adding in lines etc. My first drafts look like a mess of scribbles and footnotes and lines connecting it all.

And then I'll type it up, often editing as I go. And once it's typed, read it through, hearing it in my head. I think I could add reading aloud to this process. There's something different about shaping words with your tongue and sounds with your throat


It was amazing how this simple question provoked a whole series of thoughts and gave me two new ideas to try with my poetry:

        write my initial thoughts as a paragraph / stream of consciousness  and

        read my drafts aloud to feel the words on my tongue and in my mouth