Revision, the hard work poets do to bring a poem to as close to a final state as it can be (is there ever a ‘final’ state? 🙂 ) is often frustrating. How many times have you heard from a reader who is critiquing your work say, “I don’t know what you need to do here, but this phrase, or word, or line, needs something.” Here’s a ‘something’ to help you in the revision process. I call this ‘digging deeper.’
On another sheet of paper, or new computer screen, write/type the phrase that needs to be expanded, ‘seen again’, to revise, to probe, to reflect what you really want to see and say, to crack it open, in other words.
Then, start write anything you can think of that expands that phrase.
Think simile, metaphor, personification, color, sound, taste, touch, scent. What treasures are buried inside your phrases?
You’re not continuing the action of the poem, but are instead expanding the particular line or phrase in as many ways as you can.
Tomorrow, I’ll have some examples of how this works.