The dangers of over-editing: how a poem can lose its magic?

So, I have written a poem. I quite like it. It’s got metaphor in it, some narrative urge, a surprising word or two, it says what I want it to. Then, I get out my editing pencil and a week later it’s a sad floppy thing, pared down, barely breathing. But I can’t go back to how it was before. I feel I have betrayed it and been betrayed by it. Oh, what have I done, how can I learn when to stop and let it keep its magic; the magic that gives me that thrill in my chest, that spring to my step as I go about my daily routines? For some reason I think of ‘To the Lighthouse’ and the final brush stroke. Is there anyone out there who feels the same way? lighthouse

Posted in Uncategorized.