Wednesday, November 04, 2009

May Sarton Answers the Question "When is a poem finished?"

I'm currently reading A Celebration of Poets, edited by Don Cameron Allen, which is a collection of essays by nine poets. In May Sarton's essay, "The School of Babylon," she tackles the common question "When is a poem finished?"
The answer is, I think, when all the tensions it has posited are perfectly equilibrated, when the change of a single syllable would so affect the structure that the poem would fall like a house of cards under the shift.

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