It’s time to put on your “glasses” and see your lyric poem anew! Just as everything we see is filtered through a lens — the lens of our actual eye, and perhaps additionally the lens of our contacts or glasses — when we revise, we revise in layers, looking at our work from different angles. As you revise your lyric poems, try using one of the following approaches. Then take a break. Then come back, with fresh eyes, and try a different approach on the list.
- Cut out extra, “weak” words — and, of, for, because, so, it… — and ONLY include the key parts of the image
- Add similes (short comparisons with like or as)
- SHOW don’t TELL, so close your eyes and write what you see.
- Have someone read your poem aloud to you and notice where they read fast and smooth, where they stumble, where they slow down
- Make individual words more specific — “creature” versus “bear”
- Revise or remove sections of the poem that don’t fit with the overall mood/message
- Rewrite your poem by hand. See what you notice — like, dislike, love, could do without — as you physically rewrite your own words.
- Do a spelling and grammar check, make sure your verb tense is consistent…
- Add or take away punctuation
- Change your line breaks, considering the so-called “common errors”:
Don’t end on a, an, any, the those (articles)
Don’t end on prepositions (in, with, by, from to…)
Don’t end on me, I we, us
DO contain SOME enjambments
DO vary the length of lines
Enjoy! Your FINAL draft is still a DRAFT!