Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Editor As Poet

August 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Editing, Proofreading, Publishing, Self publishing


In the mind and psyche of everyone who loves the written word live two beings, two personas—the poet and the English teacher. Among those of us who call ourselves editor or publisher, the poet and the English teacher live in an uneasy marriage, and guess which one wears the trousers.

We editors are more confident in our judgments than in our own poetry. In fact, there’s probably an inverse relation between the sharpness of our red pens (the severity of our judgments) and the confidence we editors have in the poetry of our own writing.

Is there a way to even the balance, to give the poet inside more space? I believe so. I hope so. As the English teacher learns empathy and humility and cedes space to the poet, the scales tip towards joyful equilibrium in this once-uneasy marriage.

It is the editor’s lifelong quest to bring out the poetic in the writing of others. What does it take to uncover the poet within ourselves? This is the editor’s quest:  As Parker Palmer might say, to let our life speak poetically.

Books referenced: Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak


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