The following quotes are from what contemporary poet?
At some point in the process of composition, every poem declares its limitations.
Once the poem’s necessary limitations become visible, the poet has three choices: to accept them, finishing the poem in the best way possible; to throw the poem away; or to dismantle it and begin again.
When you begin you just need to accept things because they occur to you. You trust that what’s bad will be revised out later. But you can’t afford to stop to make value judgments. You need to let any piece of language generate the next piece. Something mediocre, or dull, or stupid, or embarrassing, may lead to something good. But if you stop to edit it out you can get stuck there. If you reject the thought, your imagination may not give you the next, better thought. Beginning is for me a process of accumulation, out of which shapes and structures, tones and voices, emerge.
… the pleasure of finishing a poem—or seemingly finishing one—also results in a certain kind of blindness to its faults. That is, the relationship between writer and poem is too close for a while. You’re in love, you’re in the moment. That’s why we all need to set things aside and come back to them with a colder eye.
Even the most rigorously formal poet cannot plan all of a poem’s effects, but he must be aware of as many patterns as possible. A form tells you where you should look. Free verse means you have to keep looking at everything as you revise.
Hard work creates the possibility of the unforeseen gift.
The pleasure of beginning belongs to the writer. The more finished the poem becomes, the more the fact of the reader—and the reader’s pleasure, and understanding—have to be the poet’s primary concern.
…I’m keenly aware that the poem could have been better, or different—larger, more expansive, riskier, more compelling. Those are my hopes for everything I haven’t yet written, and for a while each new poem will seem to take me there.