Poetry Formatting (Part two)

My old poetry thoughts

Poetry rocks me like a concert or a cradle. It whispers tears to me and shouts its infidelities. A scalpel slices through my insides as it smiles in my face. Pleasure and pain with ultimate joy ricochet within me.
First Attempt

Rocks me like
A concert
Or a cradle

It whispers
And shouts

Scalpel slices
Gutting insides
As it smiles
At you


Second Attempt

Poetry rocks me like
A concert or cradle
It whispers tears to me
And shouts infidelities

A scalpel slices through
My insides as it smiles
Pain melds with joy
Just because you have words down, doesn't mean they should all make it into the final cut. I played around with these a little but not as much as I could have. I just wanted you to see two possible ways.
Why choose those ways to do it? It is easier on the eyes than blocks of text, it gives pauses at the correct times, etc. Ultimately, it is down to the poet but the right cut helps.

I also tend to shy away from a lot of punctuation in poetry unless it IS one of those blocks of text. I think stanzas and where you cut each line to go to the next is enough. The spacing and timing of each line ultimately is a great part of poetry's grammar.

Which do you like better? Do you think there is another way that would be best? Is there a method to what you do/don't use in a certain piece?


  1. I like the motion in this poem. I write a poem and leave it alone for a month or more. Then I edit and usually cut. Often I replace words as you did.

  2. I like the second version. It's more concise and captures the feeling well.

  3. Thanks everyone. I was just showing how to cut things with poetry. I am still learning everything myself so it is fun to see what ideas people have. If you have any, let me know!