Life Lessons

Advice From a Published Poet on the First Draft of a Poem Shown to Him

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Be sure to cut the first and last four lines before you start,
(Nine cases out of ten they’re so much ‘swank’).
Securely lock the rest within a chamber of your heart,
Then liquor up — to keep your mind a blank.

Take care to burn all roughs and drafts, or give the lot away,
Avoid long midnight walks or solitaire,
Read no more books for seven years and work at being fey;
If aught remains — they’re may be something there.