Inasmuch as the writing of poetry is concerned there are many things I've come to learn not to do. One of those things would be forcing a poem's completion.
Thankfully this has seldom happened- in fact, I can only think of two poems in particular whose 'publication' seemed a little premature: one I posted on this blog a little over a year ago; the other I dedicated to an artist friend in '08.
This blog concerns the one I posted here on May 22nd of last year. It was meant to be a sonnet whose subject was a series of questions pertaining to the relationship of the artist's disposition to that of his or her work. The idea I had was simple enough, but expressing it adequately and by means of meter and rhyme scheme proved- like any other poem- to be a challenge.
Shortly thereafter an eagerness to have it finished and complete overcame my senses, and before I knew it it was posted. I felt icky about it for the longest time and promised myself never to post a poem or call it complete unless my heart felt it to be ... and so I haven't.
Last week I decided to reengage that poem and make it right. When I completed it (for real, this time) I felt my aesthetic conscience clear and that 'icky feeling' lifted. Moreover, the revised poem is exactly what my mind intended to produce last year.
The prematurely posted poem is in the comments area if you'd like to read that as well, but the revised form of it is below. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Does the Pure Heart a Better Poet Make
Does the pure heart a better poet make,
Whose inner frame is as by God begot-
Swaying, shaping what the writer would take,
And by this inspiration mold the plot?
Or may an impure soul take up the dye
And scribe onto the canvas-page the same-
Be moved, as it were, by the Muses' cry
Though heart be vile, or morally maim?
Are both, scribing their words, Poetry's heir
(So that neither virtue nor vice opposed
Might hard contend for which author is dear;
That, judgeless, she takes in what each composed),
Or is it that her Muse will choose her heirs
And divide, as with sickle, wheat from tares?