One of my greatest stumbling blocks is getting from that first draft to the second. I cannot seem to distance myself from the trigger, which is something Ellen Bryant Voigt and I talked about in our one-on-one conference.
Some elements, some lenses, that can take me into the second draft more smoothly: - Consider the structure. Is this the order in which I want the information to be received? - Consider the frame. I have a tendency to over-explain, to use exposition, which makes the actual poem itself become subordinate. Remove the frame, see what's there. She called it "bullying exposition" and referenced to how it was "imprisoning." - Imagine the poem as a film: what is being seen and when? From whose p.o.v.? - Economy. Economy, economy, economy. It's not just about diction but about geographical location, about characters (see, even if the trigger is memoir, a poem can shift to get to the story), etc. - In some of my poems, the emotions (forgiveness) seem misplaced, come to soon. - Who has the agency in the poems?