We've all taken liberties with writing rules and, if one isn't writing to a specific form, poets have some of the most generous "writing rules" around. There doesn't have to be rhyme, punctuation, uniformity, or anything else in free verse. Yes, there is sound to consider (and meaning) but these things can be more preference-based than concrete.
And yet, some editors/educators/publishers act as though their word is law. They know. We don't. Granted, being open to advice is necessary and a great many people know more than we do. But, no one admits when giving us advice it's preferential, not law.
It frustrates me.
I've gotten rejected because an editor thought I made a silly wording mistake in my poem. It wasn't an error. It was a specific choice with a certain meaning. "Fixing my mistake" would have meant giving a section the opposite intended meaning. I explained why I used the word I did (politely) and the poem was rejected. Her right. Maybe, once the wording changed, she didn't like it anymore. Or perhaps she just wasn't happy I didn't do as she asked.
I have another poem making the rounds with the first line:
I scent your fear on the wind, like a tiger
It is intentional, "scent" in place of "smell". I have reasons. I have liberties. We'll just see how long it takes for someone to argue it away. But, in order for me to alter it, the reasoning better be darn good.
And yes, my poetic license is up-to-date!
Have you ever had someone tell you you're wrong over a deliberate choice (with your writing)? Did you ever agree to alterations? If so, what swayed you?