Revising Poetry

We have been working on many poem drafts the last few weeks.  Some are list poems, some are home poems, and some are found poems.  As we get ready to start our poetry blogs (yay!) we are going to need to look back over our work and be objective about whether it is truly ready for publishing on the world wide web.

Here is an example of a poem that was written and then revised.   Read both versions.  What did the author change?  What do you think about that change?  Did it help the poem in any way?

Version 1 (2007)

Templo

From the top of a templo

I see
the rainforest, la selva
llena de arboles
covering the ground below
like soft, swaying, moss.

I see
The lake, glimmering beneath a hazy soft sunset
And filled to the shore with crocodiles
Stretches on and on.

I see
piles of billowy clouds meandering in el cielo and
the purple-grey of a far off rainstorm threatening
To join us.

Yaxha, Tikal, La Blanca.
The stones beneath my feet
are thousands of years old.
Their fathers no longer with us
A legacy built brick by brick
now lifts me into the sky.

From the top of a templo

my eyes reach distances
hundreds of miles
and thousands of years
from here.

Templo (Revised 2011)

Yaxha, Tikal, La Blanca.
The stones beneath my feet
are ancient and solid.

From the top my eyes reach
distances hundreds of miles and
thousands of years from here.

Below, the rainforest, la selva.
Llena de arboles, it covers the ground
beneath us like soft, swaying, moss.

Beyond, the lake glimmers beneath a hazy sunset.
It’s filled to the shore with crocodiles;
Its shores stretch on and on.

Above, piles of billowy clouds meander
across a deepening sunset sky.  The purple-grey
of a far off rainstorm threatens.

Yaxha, Tikal, La Blanca.
The stones beneath my feet
are thousands of years old.

Their fathers are no longer with us,
but a legacy, built brick by brick,
now lifts me into the sky.

19 thoughts on “Revising Poetry

  1. I prefer the version from 2007 because I did not think you needed to cut out some of the fragments of your poem. I also think the 2007 version flowed smoother than the 2011 version.

  2. I prefer version #1 because I liked the order of the lines better. For example I like how she started with “From the top of the templo I see..” instead of “Yaxha, Tikal, La Blanca.” #1 flows better and #2 jumps into the action to fast.

  3. I also like number one better because it starts out in the language I know. Number two doesn’t start out with the point; the main subject. It starts out with the stones instead of the fact that the poet is on the top of a templo.

  4. I prefer the 2007 version because the repeating of “I see” really empowers the point. In the second version you separated most of the 6 stanzas into 3 stanzas and got rid of the “I see”. I don’t believe that the changes helped the poem.

  5. The two poems are very different but that’s what I liked about them. Actually, I read them over again, and you sometimes just moved parts so it wasn’t always different. It was very descriptive. When you wrote words that was in a different language, I became very interested. I liked the 2011 version better because it was revised more and when you revise you make it better. But, both of them contain interesting language and pattern that I thought was terrific.

  6. I liked the one from 2011 better because I felt it was more descriptive and more strong.I think that you should put one more stanza.

  7. I like the 2011 version of “Templo,” better. Because in my opinion it flows. The 2007 version of “Templo” is rough and not as easy going as the second version.

  8. I noticed you repeated “Yaxha Tikal La Blanca”. I think it really empowers the point you are trying to make. In the 2007 version you repeat “I see”. That also empowers what you are saying in that poem. I love how you say “The Templo” instead of The Temple. It gives me a distant feeling like I don’t really know what it means but I have a faint idea. Even though those words and some others are in Spanish I don’t think you need a key because it let’s me figure it out and I like that. I really love the description of the stones lifting you into the sky. It really gives e a great picture in my mind. Honestly, I really couldn’t pick which version I liked better.

  9. I prefer the version from 2011 because the new order flows better and also because it end is more complete. Still great job Mrs. Younge!!!

  10. I like the older one better then the new one because it sort of goes into the topic not just jumping in to it. I don’t know what (Yaxha and Tikal) mean I didn’t get the start of the other one.

  11. I liked the second version (2011 version) better because the poem flows better and there is mix of languages (Spanish and English). I admired the usage of making the reader picture where and whet you are talking about.

    -Zach L

  12. I enjoyed the revised version, but I thought that the last stanza on the 2007 version was really good. I think at the bottom you should say what the Spanish words mean. I noticed that in the 2007 version you said I see alot, I liked that.

  13. I like version number one because it had more description and the placing of the words was better than number two.
    I loved the way Ms. Younge used Spanish phrases in the poem.

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