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GOOD ENGLISH IS GOOD BUSINESS

Poetry

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 
As those move easiest who have learned to dance. 
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense, 
The sound must seem an echo to the sense. 

 —Alexander Pope, “An Essay on Criticism”

Editing poetry invites a light hand that neither embellishes nor misrepresents meaning. Rather, editing poetry ensures that intended meaning is conveyed by correcting punctuation, spelling, grammar, and inadvertent omissions — but not unconventional usage such as to memory.

Here are some before and after examples:

I trace the stars
to memory.

I hold this moon within
my heart.

I am caressed by
dreams-

To sweet to let go.

 

I trace the stars
to memory.

I hold this moon within
my heart.

I am caressed by
dreams—

Too sweet to let go.

The desire of a slow
Burning star -
Is light upon light as it greets
You and
I.

The desire of a slow
Burning star -
Is light upon light as it greets
You and
me.

And from your parting touch
A whisper spoken
A whisper
Heard --
May I live once more
Your sweetest
Prayer…
“To listen well your loving words.”

And from your parting touch
A whisper spoken
A whisper
Heard --
May I live once more
Your sweetest
Prayer… “To listen well
to your loving words.”

 

From 2002 to 2004 poet Eric McCarty sent me four collections of poetry: Does God Have a Hero? This Is How It’s Done, Dancing Molecules, and I Am This Close.

On December 15, 2009, he wrote, “I am still writing and hope to put together another book in the beginning of the new year - I would be happy to use your services again.”

In November 2002 he wrote:

I feel truly blessed to have found Janis Holmberg again.
Janis edited my very first book,
Does God Have a Hero? with a true understanding of the needs of a first-time author. Unfortunately, I lost track of Janis. I have worked with several other editors on projects and subsequent books, and while their technical expertise was appreciated, I failed at developing a sense of rapport that is so essential in a writer/editor relationship. By a series of fortunate coincidences I was led to Janis's Web site and reestablished contact with her. This truly was a gift! With total confidence I was able to turn my new manuscript over to Janis and allow her to work her magic. I will not lose contact with her again!
Eric Paul McCarty

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