How Poeming Is Like Dating

We’ve been discussing the composition of poetry on Twitter today. It sounds like many poets (including myself) tend to treat writing poetry like dating.

Start off for fun
At first, it’s just an image. Or an idea. Or a line. Something small and (what initially) seems unique triggers the beginning of a poem. You start to write it down, thinking it looks and sounds great. The common question: Will it still look good the next morning?

Often, these quickies may be abandoned in the light of day. Sometimes, forgotten forever. However, sometimes, there is enough “potential” there that…

Things start to get serious
And by serious, I mean, that you start trying to change the poem, and maybe the poem even starts trying to change you a little. This is where some really good poetry can be made. Many good poets and good poems make each other great during the revision process.

Of course, spending too much time revising a bad poem is also where quite a bit of time can be wasted.

Let go of the bad ones
Many poets (myself included) have trouble letting go of the bad poems. These are the poems that may have had “potential” at some point but are now just bad for you. Everyone outside can see that’s there’s nothing there. And deep down inside, you know it too.

You just have to let go of these poems. Who knows? Maybe it will make something of itself and return to you as a poem that works. Besides, you can always keep the best lines, images around in a “bits & pieces” notebook.

When you have a keeper, share it with the world
Just as you would bring a keeper home to meet the parents and family, keeper poems need to be shared with the world. These poems have everything you love, and you’re proud to be connected to it. So, share it by submitting to journals and publications or by self-publishing.

Of course, one obvious difference between poeming and dating comes at this point, because you have to let the keepers go as well. That’s the only way to move on to the next great poem.


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Learn more about poetry:


You might also like:

19 thoughts on “How Poeming Is Like Dating

  1. dissertation service

    I will confirm that you make really very interesting information about this good topic. You can compose the example of thesis for buy thesis services or found our own dissertation writing services and we will buy a thesis paper at this service.

    1. virat

      Several professionals think that it might tilt the total amount on your side in case one scarves with other folks upon remaining criteria. It could be noticed that various specialized physiques, entrance advisors and evaluation programs may present solutions to build someone’s record of intent. grab my essay for all of the students to prepare term papers or, any college papers.

  2. citizen watch

    watches breitling series its watchmaking dynastys founding fathers to pay tribute New TOURBO GRAPH Pour le M��rite LANGE Homage to FALange Tourbillon watch the 1815 Homage to FALange phase the moon watch The three commemative limited edition watch all Lange proud masterpiece To have special new alloy hardness build 18K gold honey col If you are looking watch that can ultimately accentuate your style personality you might as well go to one with luxurious look feel People in modern wld are becoming me me interested in showing their great ftune Suppose you are one that kind wearing luxury watch deserving thouss dollars best watches day date watches replica christian dior prince watches cartier tortue watches

  3. invicta watches

    Made from the woven leather which is the trademark of Chanel buy replica handbags replica lv handbags handbags 2010 New Collection it features two big metal pieces at the bottom of it and double C logo printed on both sides illustrate its elegance and brand well It looks modern and great and I think it may go well with some formal ensemble and can also be taken to some formal occasions Of course it must be practical and could hold your necessary daily stuffs replica lv handbags With two long metal and leather interwoven handles Wallets it could be carried in the hands or over the shoulder buy replica handbags

  4. replica watch

    The IWC is another Swiss hology leader It is replica watches situated on replica watches the Rhine river far away from the traditional timecraft centres which was rather influential as the design of these timepieces The IWC Diver womens tag heuer watch movado watches for ladies mens Girard Perregaux watches s Pilot replica watches s series embody the strict elegance in the exteri ulysse nardin for men armani watch for women the unique innovation in the mechanism

  5. tag heuer watches

    replica handbags replica chanel handbags for sale replica louis vuitton bags Louis Vuitton Men Travel dolce gabbana bags on the wall is General mounting do not take closer look priceless do not know maybe the rich will not really wear clothelovehat covered LOGO it But my friend jumped out BOBO flew on opposition she is fan LVbags made wage to buy LV The reason ilovehat she loves LV LV had few good with one good spty does not feel awkward when holding holding evening also saw fit high efficiency Second no one knewolednowolede price expensive is brief description the identity status She asked me You do not know Why LV saying subtext That ilovehe old son is Wei it will be so many Rich Wives LV crazy to buy Louis Vuitton Men Travel replica lv for sale

  6. Sara McNulty

    Stated beautifully, Robert. By the time you finally let a poem go, it feels like a part of you was cut out, but then maybe, that part was diseased.

    Also, wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your suggestion to read Sage Cohen’s, Writing The Life Poetic. It is wonderfully helpful and full of incite.

  7. Margaret Fieland

    Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

    When I want to write
    something sure to delight

    I sit down with my pen,
    pick a word or two, then

    I start right in writing
    and hope it’s exciting.

    If it’s not, then I
    still hate saying goodbye,

    though awful it may be,
    to my poem-child baby.

  8. Sara Gwen


      This one’s for sure
        to make sense later on
      of this moment of love
        outliving its time,
        as though when as gone
      and when as obscure
      as though unheard of,
          it’ll still ignite
        in impromptu rhyme
          for one more night
      to its moment of love.


  9. CJillFriend




    Disband Disciplinary Action of Disharmonious: Discourse Deciding DiSavowal

    Going on the non-offensive strategy of Live free or Die.
    Maybe once you thought of Hydrangea in your Sky/
    Living off the of f spring of minnowesque bluegill sky.

    Lea v ing leaves in the leaf’s breath…
    Let me go in the breath’s air…
    For the lasting laxy of the ever capptining/O
    What is this? So,me3 type of typing. Wish,,,,

    Dead breath POETRY.

  10. Sara Gwen

    Yes, and how some of y’all are completely natural just doing what comes completely natural, just going with the flow and creating art and magic straight out of the moment. While others of us keep having to refer to the manual and still never get it right.

    And how some of y’all are into the commitment thing and the love thing with each and every relationship. While others of us never get past a one-night stand with any given poem, revisions and all.

    And then some of y’all choose those with whom you do that creation thing. While others of us are the one chosen to be manipulated by it all.

    But then some of y’all move on so easily. While others of us keep wearing the damn ring long after it’s over just to keep from diving back into the dating scene.


  11. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    What a wonderful analogy, Robert. I’ve always thought of poetry, music, all the arts, as one big romance anyway, but the process being viewed in this way WORKS.

    In the beginning, as with songwriting, it was so hard to trim excess verbage (still is), especially when it’s a particularly clever or meaningful turn of phrase. I’ve learned to journal those extra phrases for later use, because I know they won’t come to mind again (my brain being a sieve in general!).

    Going back over a poem after time has passed is good advice, too. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. Thanks as always for the advice! Amy


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.