A Poet Reflects

"Occasionally, I can write a poem straight off.  Usually I revise a great deal—a hundred or more rewritings.  One good remark Virginia Woolf makes somewhere in her journals is that too much rewriting is symptomatic of a failure of imagination.  Mea culpa.  But if you put a poem aside, when you look at it again it tends to rewrite itself, because your remembered intention criticizes the failures of expression.”
—Stephen Spender

"Occasionally, I can write a poem straight off.  Usually I revise a great deal—a hundred or more rewritings.  One good remark Virginia Woolf makes somewhere in her journals is that too much rewriting is symptomatic of a failure of imagination.  Mea culpa.  But if you put a poem aside, when you look at it again it tends to rewrite itself, because your remembered intention criticizes the failures of expression.”

—Stephen Spender

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