Sometimes it’s simply a time to do something else and to stop working on a poem. Let it sit and come back to read it with fresh eyes. I have two poems at this time to come back to. (Some blogs are like this too.)
In case you are not a fellow poet or writer___ Overworking a poem may mean losing the contextual significance of the poem. Context is important and punctuation is equally if not more important because puncuations direct the writer and reader. If it’s there it has a purpose so that sentences flow as intended. The placement of punctuations matters because the period acts as a stop sign, a common like a yield sign, and a semicolon is made of both which means you stop a bit longer so to check the connection of the two trains of thought you have just married together. These thoughts should have a commonality.
Sometimes I will cut and paste the whole poem not to lose what is there, and work the second copy.
Meanings of words are very important and one should look them up to check on the meanings. Usually, there is this moment in writing where you listen to your gut. Words are seductive at times, but they still may not be the ones to use.
I consider what each sentence is saying. It’s important to read the poem out out-loud. Reading out loud means you hear the cadence of the poem.
Writing poems about what you personally experience is a good place to begin. Reading poetry, and books teach many things when you observe how other writers use their words and punctuation.
Living life, being out in the world, observing life is important. This does not mean you become a world traveler. It means observing daily life, and not spending all your life in your home. Not experiencing life happens if you are too comfortable with being home. As an example, I write and am an artist, what I do takes up a lot of my time right here. Housework, cooking needs to be done. It’s a self-contained life. A lot of time can go by before I finally make plans to get away from home. Today we are all forced to be home much more due to covid. What can be done is to make time to get out there safely.
“Ancora imparo” (I am still learning.) Michelangelo. John Drury wrote in his book Creating Poetry, “The first lines of a poem is a kind of door, an entrance into the rooms of the stanzas, an opening. There are many kinds of doors____. That first line is a lead through many kinds of doors.
Thank you! Best wishes!