Creative Writing

many thoughts on authorial intent

By Jacq Mayoral Olascuaga

It feels wrong

To rewrite an original poem.

To bastardize the scripture

To change the emotional intent

To go back and altering past words 

But still, there’s this need to do so

To clean up my scribbles of emotions

Though now I wonder 

Did poets before me retool their poems before releasing them?

Was Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” originally about blue jays? 

Were train conductors on Walt Whitman’s mind when he wrote “O Captain! My Captain!” ? 

Does it matter?

Should it matter?

Is revising an old poem bad?

Could doing so erase the original emotion behind it?

Is it possible to strengthen past emotions by doing so?

Or is it simply akin to redrawing an art piece you did years ago?

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