Next Word, Better Word: The Craft of Writing Poetry
When I was much younger, I would write a poem in the morning, work on it through the day, and then go to bed with a sense of accomplishment. The poem seemed finished. However, when I looked at it the next morning, all was changed. What had seemed graceful now looked clumsy; what seemed intelligent was now vague, while the formal qualities I had admired were a mishmash of inexact barrowings. My first sense, though I knew it wasn’t true, was that someone had entered my apartment in the night and wrecked my poem. Then, for much of the day, I would trail around under a gloomy cloud flinging rude remarks at myself. But in the evening, I would again work on the poem, rewriting it until its seeming brilliance once more shone on the page. Again I would go to bed with a feeling of accomplishment.
But the next morning the poem would seem terrible.