The Tree // Having Other People Edit Your Work?

The Tree

(TW: Suicide)

There was a tree

And so it stood

Upon the hill that summer.


There was a girl

Who was never far

Away from it, or him.


There was a boy

Who feared to think

Of losing her come fall.


But still the tree

Stripped of its leaves

Changed as it must in autumn.


And so the girl

As he knew she would

Went away for winter.


Then went the boy

So lost, alone

To the tree, remember.


There was a tree

Bare but for one

A soul who never left it.


And there was a girl

Who wanted none

But to be joined as lovers.


Yet there was a boy

Who never knew

As he hung from the tree in spring.


The tree was downed

And so was lost

As things must go in these times.


The girl went silent

And she was lost too

As things do go in these times.


The boy went to nothing

And an overwhelming lack

Is as things go this time.


The nothing, the nothing

And still that joins the three

Is as things go this time.


(To leave a review for this poem, check it out on FictionPress)

So I wrote that poem a few months ago, and then decided to ask other, smarter, more poetry oriented people to beta read it for me over on Fictionpress.  At the time, I thought that this would be a good idea, but now I’m not so sure.  I want to tell you all why.

I originally had a series of words and phrases different, and I liked them much better than they are now.  But, I didn’t save my original and then I made edits, switching stuff around like other people wanted, and now I don’t remember how to switch it back to the way I like it.  And that kind of sucks.

I feel like poetry is a very very personal matter, and it’s difficult when you let other people jump in and try to make changes for you.  I’m a huge fan of beta reading for stories, but I don’t think you can truly get in touch with someone’s emotions enough to beta their poem.

When I asked one girl to beta, she ended up trying to change the entire meaning of my poem because she didn’t get it, which TOTALLY sucked.  When she was done it was this happy go lucky poem and it didn’t make any sense the way I wanted it to.  I know that most people aren’t like that, and you just have to find the right reader, but I think that all too often people can have different poetic interpretations and change it to make it make less sense to you personally.  If that makes sense.

Obviously, you could just SAVE A COPY OF YOUR ORIGINAL LIKE A SMART PERSON. and that would save a lot of problems.  So maybe it’s just me, but I want to know your perspective!!

Do you think it’s possible to successfully beta read poetry?



7 thoughts on “The Tree // Having Other People Edit Your Work?

  1. Hmm, it really depends. Poetry is hard to beta for because it’s written on whatever you’re feeling at the moment, or what your thoughts are. It may not make sense, but it’s written down that way for a purpose. If someone tries to just make it better by rewording one little phrase, it can throw off the whole meaning. However, if one phrase is unclear, a beta might be able to make it less confusing. I’m leaning towards the “no” side of poetry betas though. 😛 Great post, and I love the poem! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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