Interrogate Your Poems

To edit and evaluate your own poetry more objectively, interrogate your poems, not as you write, but as you revise. Ask:

• Do I have a new perspective or unusual treatment of a theme or topic?

• Did I explore something that will interest most people?

• Did I do my research and double-check all facts?

• Did I accurately present information, observations, and comparisons?

• Does the poem say what it wants to say in words, images, symbols, or ideas that most readers can relate to and envision?

• Is the poem honest?

• Do the lines have credible conflict, counterpoint, juxtaposition, or anything else that shows a push-pull tension?
• Does the poem have distinctive language and an interesting voice?

• Do my word choices bring to mind interesting connotations and sounds?

• Did I emphasize certain syllables or rhymes for a special effect?

• Does the poem have musicality that can be heard by reading aloud?

• Is the overall tone in keeping with the theme and subject?

• Does the poem hint of humor rather than mere wit or cleverness?

• Does anything in the poem need correcting?

• Does the form fit the idea or story?

• Do the line-breaks work well in my free verse?

• What would happen if I break the lines differently?

• Does my traditional poem nicely fit a traditional form?

• If not, does each variation in the pattern have a purpose?

• Does it work?

• Did I take any risks to keep the poem from clicking shut at the end?

• Does the length and style suit the needs of most poetry journals?

• Will readers want to read this poem again and again?

• Would I love this poem if someone else had written it?

If you feel unsure or want objective feedback on your work, look for the type of help you need on The Poetry Editor website – .]


One thought on “Interrogate Your Poems

  1. Thanks for all the useful points necessary in poetry analysis. I find that if I enjoy reading a poem I have written some time ago,I go ahead and publish it. When I write poetry I try to give it the enthusiasm and passion,which I feel for the concept, when I am trying to bring alive with the poetry composition. All the best

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