I can’t decide if I like best
To write from scratch or edit;
If someone knew the right response
I’m sure they would have said it.

For when I write from nothing,
My eager soul grows weak
Because my mind must strive to find
A suitable technique.

And yet a different malady
Afflicts me when I polish
A specimen arranged in prose
I fear I might demolish:

When I correct my writing,
What words I must distill;
When I replace one reckless verb
It reappears at will.

To edit someone’s finished work,
Now that’s a different story;
How red marks can remove a man
From his imagined glory.

And so if not revising
Nor writing will suffice,
A writer’s not a writer, no —
Without his main device.

But lo, behold, what have I now
To show as I bemoan it?
An unexpected length of verse,
Indeed, who would have known it!