Joyce Sutphen – The Art of Revision

Joyce Sutphen (August 10, 1949 -)

In the morning I take out
most of what I put in last night.
I cross out everything that seems
excessive, every frill and fandango,
anything fluffy—a word that should
never again appear in a poem,
along with blossom and awesome.
Once I have deleted everything
except the title—which now seems
to have been written by a poet
who knows something I don’t,
I delete that as well and turn
the page. All that empty space
is waiting. What will I say?