And straight off, he mentioned how, as an editor, he wished he did not see quite so very many poems in the present tense--he wanted to see poetry that goes "beyond the lyric moment of now." So how do the tenses work? "I was" gives us rumination, recounting. "I am" gives us immediacy, now (and, I would add, urgency). "I will be" is impending, a prophecy. He advised us a revision technique: try rewriting the poem in another tense entirely. This doesn't have to mean it is correct or there it will remain, but we might open up some possibility, some tension, or find some holes we might not have otherwise noticed.
This entry was posted by Ivy
on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 12:03 PM.
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