Two Versions of a Poem

And, in the spirit of full disclosure, let me share another poetic experiment with you.  This was a poem I wrote as an answer to the question I posed in the previous post: Who lingers when all done is said?  Version 1 is my first attempt: wordier, spelling out meaning.  Version 2 is trying to take all of the superfluous padding out.  Is there enough left there to convey the meaning?  I’m not sure.  Probably a mix of the two will be my final version.

Version 1

The afterchime

The aftermath

The silence when the noise subsides.

They come to haunt,

Some: happy ghosts,

Some long-faced, gaunt.

They parade, unfold, start pacing.

But some stick fast

Like cobwebs on bushes

After the rain.

Version 2

The afterchime…

They come to haunt,

Some ghosts.

Stick fast

Like cobwebs on the bushes

After the rain.

6 thoughts on “Two Versions of a Poem”

  1. Marina Sofia – Really interesting comparison here! And actually both versions are eloquent. I think you have the right instinct about some ‘middle ground’ between your two versions.

  2. Interesting. I’ve never seen two versions of a poem like that. A mix of them would be good. For noveling and short story writing I’ve always heard that taking the wordier descriptions out helps streamline the story. Does it work that way for poetry too? (I’m showing my non-knowledge of poetry with that question, LOL)

  3. How interesting ~ I’ve asked for opinions on my blog, and others have been very supportive and given their unbiased views, which I’ve found most useful.

    I suspect you’re right ~ a mix of the two is likely to be what you end up with. For me, the longer, more fluid, first version gives the tone and pace that seems to be most fitting for this particular poem. I think it would be a shame to lose some of the wonderfully evocative words eg ‘the silence when the noise subsides’ is so … obvious, but not … [if that makes any sort of sense]. It would be a shame to lose it. And the contrast between happy and long-faced ghosts … these are things that make our poems individual, show our personal, even intimate, style. Also, I’d prefer ‘Like cobwebs on bushes / after the rain’ rather than ‘Like cobwebs on the bushes / After the rain’ … yes, I know, it’s only one word difference, but it means such a lot.

    So … overall, go for it Marina. Only you know exactly what you want to say in a poem. Once you’ve written it ‘let it go’ and have your readers put their own interpretation on it. In the meantime … keep asking for opinions, it helps us to grow and learn 🙂

    1. Thank you, Polly – you are always so helpful. Yes, isn’t it amazing how a small ‘the’ or ‘a’ can make all the difference.
      By the way, my kids loved your Angry Birds references in your poetry! They would, wouldn’t they?

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