Vito, tell me, honestly. What is your impression of my poetry? What are you first impressions?

Okay — let’s do this. I travelled back through your writing for the past 8 weeks or so and put a green heart or two on some things I’d missed recommending the first time. I like your willingness to experiment with words and I’ll almost always recommend someone who’s taking a chance with words. If for no other reason than to “ask” that person to continue with those experiments. I dwell in possibility — Emily Dickinson.

I don’t “see” three different processes for your writing but I do see that experimentation I mentioned and a talent towards writing about nature in a spirited, lyrical and interesting way. Both of these instincts are, I think, effective. I’m sure I’ve missed some things in my reading this afternoon.

There is a website called “How A Poem Happens” and I enjoy reading how poets gain their inspiration, work through the language challenges and then work through the possibility toward their poetry being published. You might want to check it out.

The poet I mentioned earlier today started working with a private teacher (I am not even close to being one) and worked, it seems, unbelievably hard at developing a number of things to become a better poet. They were: focussing on the metaphorical; in-depth research; and developing a distinctive voice and subject matter. I believe that these days she might not write more than a dozen poems in a year. They tend towards the longer side but even so, with her commitment to her craft, she makes them work at the top of the art form.

I don’t see any reason why you could not achieve the same. It could happen in the flash of an eye or it could take longer but I do believe it can happen. Albeit with some demanding, experienced, teacher who is demanding and experienced in what you’re looking to accomplish. And did I mention demanding and experienced? I personally do not know anyone like that. They frighten me. And you must know what you’re looking to accomplish to find that person.

Also, please keep this in mind — there’s much better advice out there than mine. I’m pleased that you asked that we have a conversation and I look forward to having more in the future. Certainly keep writing — with focus and intention. I believe if you have it within you, you can be your own teacher but I don’t think the experience of others can’t be imagined or taught to oneself. Working through the publishing maze is often too hit and miss for someone who’s not been doing it for years. Outside of this teacher student relationship the feedback loops are usually too long and too uninformed to be of much use.

I like to think of poetry editors as people who’ve read ten thousand poems in the morning before I’ve had breakfast. They know from the second line if they are in the possession of something they are dying to publish and sometimes, they want you to rewrite the whole thing anyway.

Go for it. If you want it, you can do it.

Enhanced Disclaimer Provided For My Own Personal Sanity: I am not the world’s greatest expert in the tone of my own writing and as such, it’s possible that I’ve written something that reads in a manner I do not intend. I hope everything reads as positive and constructive. My sincere, sincere belief is that you should —

Go for it. You can do it.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope I helped. 

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