As part of my autumn poetry reactivation plan (sounds good, eh?) I’ve signed up for an online course from the Poetry’s School with Karen McCarthy Woolf. It’s a feedback course for the ‘general improvement of left-for-dead poems in need of resuscitation’. This premise really appealed to me – having quite a few poems languishing at the moment, some of which I feel at the end of my editorial tether (with). (Apologies for the clumsy construction, but since I’m off duty while writing this I feel able to mush over any dodgy grammar or whatever. It’s the equivalent of pulling on a onesie and eating a takeaway while watching TV. I’m at home. Off duty.)
Soooo … time to dust off some old pomes. While we’re on the subject, I should mention that I was pleased to find out that South have taken two poems of mine for their autumn issue, just when I’d thought they wouldn’t find a home. I did think I wasn’t going to submit to South again, but when it came to it I just felt those poems belonged there, so I’m glad the selectors felt the same. It’s an unusual setup there – no one editor, but a committee, of which (as far as I can tell) two or three people act as selectors for each issue. Although submissions are anonymous, there’s a distinctive consistency about the poems chosen. For example, my Lewes cohort Jeremy Page manages to have something in every single issue – what gives, JP?? – and other names too are ‘regulars’. The magazine doesn’t include poet biogs (which is a shame) but it does have a launch event for each issue (which is good).
Anyway, I digress – my question to you is, when do you leave a poem for dead? Is it ever actually ‘dead’, or just sleeping gently in a drawer until you bring it out for another airing? Do you have any good success stories about poems you resurrected after a long period of time? I’d love to hear them.