So, five days, five poems. One is probably a keeper, and four pretty much suck (but at least a couple of them have words or phrases I may be able to cannibalize for something else later). I suspect it's no coincidence that the probable keeper was written when I was relaxed and comfortable, on a weekend day, having consumed sufficient caffeine and spent a half-hour or so reading poetry -- and a couple of the sucky ones have been "oh crap, I'd better write a poem before I go to bed, damn it" poems. Go figure, huh?
How's everyone else doing?
Beyond that: When you've written a first draft, do you generally have a strong sense of whether or not it's a keeper? I always think I know immediately, and then I'll go through a pile of drafts that are six months or a year old and suddenly some of them look promising enough to work on. "Gee, when the heck did I write that? That's not bad."
And of course, sometimes I get all excited about a first draft, and then I either can't figure out how to revise it to completion, or realize I was just infatuated with the thrill of having written something new but it actually sucks after all. I think writing a new draft every day may help me get away from that, since having written something new won't actually be a big deal.
So what about it: do you know? And if so, when? (I'd ask "how" as well, but I suspect that's kind of like "how do you know the milk is bad" ... you just smell it and you know.)