Posted by: shorelineclusterpoets | October 29, 2010

A great poem and great writing advice from Charles Rafferty

I found this on Wednesday. A great poem by a terrific Connecticut writer, Charles Rafferty, and an interview with him that gives some interesting incite into his writing process.

Click here and give me some comments on what you think.



  1. Hey Rudy,
    Thanks so much for this and for all the entries I have not gotten around to comment upon. Very enjoyable to read the SCP!

    Very good poem on the carpe diem theme –
    It is often quite interesting to hear a poet describe the process by which she/he creates.
    His formula seems to involve the right amount of coffee & train commute & sitting on it 6 months for revisions … that would seem the upper limit to me.
    How long a person should delay exposing a poem to the world to allow for revisions seems to vary widely from poets I’ve talked with.
    My personal feeling is that a poem revised too far after the fact becomes a different poem from the prime intent, because we are constantly evolving (hopefully) and therefore our perceptions are evolving. I think preserving the prime intent intact should be as important as whatever improvement the revision offers. Otherwise the poem is not about its subject but rather about its subject through a filter of time and perspective – which can also be fine, but I DONT think EVERY poem SHOULD be a memoir poem! IMHO – A well honed poem usually requires some thoughtful revision, but I have seen too many revisions over too long a time render some savory poems stale.

    A very talented CT poet, Robin Sampson, has a blogspot called
    which features regional poets talking about the inspirations for their work.
    (I talk about my poem “Key” about 3/4 through posted pieces (July, 2009)

    • I completely agree about letting too long pass between revisions. Frame of mind certainly plays a big part of the initial creation of a poem. If too much time goes by, the writer is usually in a different state, which makes it hard to recapture that initial thought.

    • That’s a neat site you posted. Shame it doesn’t seem to have anything added since May.

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