was thinking on poets who either revise, destroy or write off their early work as sophomoric, or immature. for example one ElLay poet i know was invited to collect his work of thirty-five yrs, and went back to homogenize the punctuation and line break formats of the collection. another poet, Hart Crane, left in his will the instruction to disclude early works from print. a poet i admire Charles Potts declares in a preface to a reprint of some early work, of course these poems were written young, and so cannot be taken seriously.....
other poets i know, who exist in piles around the house, have taken whole piles of poems and recycled or shredded the paper.
meanwhile there are poets like Rimbaud, La Forgue, Levy, etc. who wrote while quite young and even expired early. does the fact that their poems were written before the age of thirty make them immature or somehow less effective? should we discard the work of ourselves or other poets created before hemmeroids?
i think it unwise to discount early works.
to change works, or "update" them to an artists current style (to me) somehow threatens the integrity of the poems as they were written and edited in the first place. besides, isnt it fascinating to read the work of a poet one admires in the stages of unfurling?
i mean, wouldnt seeing the earlies and having read the currents make some deeper impression of who the poet is as artist, and individual?
by the way, Crane's instructions were not followed. the "collected works of Hart Crane" i have come across all include the early works, prefaced by a statement of the artist's (ungranted) wishes. but so many literary figures were postumously disrespected in this manner.....
so, do you keep your early work? have you restructured it? do you intend to publish it, even if ancient? are you embarrassed by it? i'm a dyin' ta know.