Hello, Darkkin, the Tedious back with another question. I know voice has been hashed out across a thousand threads before, but not as it pertains to poetry. Bear with me, I have a point...at least I did at one point. (Oh, look...Point! Three points!) While reading through some of the critiques in the poetry forum, I came across an observation that intrigued me. The observation simply spoke of the lack of a distinct voice. And the thought occured to me: How do you a.) Find your voice, and b.) maintain it throughout a piece or collection? This where things get tricky because poetry is such diverse medium. There are fewer strictures inhibiting the formation of a piece. You can go narrative, free form, structured, metred or not. Emotions have a tendency to be a little closer to the surface, as well. Too often passion or fury come off sounding like a rant. Definitely not what you're looking for in poetry. For those who are visual take the example of a building and a wrecking ball. The building is the body of a standard writing project, (either fiction or non.). The wrecking ball smashes through the body of work, sending nouns, verbs, and adjectives in every direction. Ideas litter the ground and a once solid voice is now in ruins. This is where some poetry begins. We are the scrapers, picking up pieces, be they shiny or dented. There are still others are so wonderfully and weirdly contorted there is no possible way to straighten them out again. Often, these marvelously twisted pieces become the cores of a work. We build around them, following the unnatural curves and bends effortlessly, endlessly adding verbage from the wreckage. The voice and emotions are lost in the permutations. It becomes a seemingly impossible task of finding a balance between emotion, ideals, and identity. How do you maintain the balance between identity and integrity? Savage editing, I know is part of the process, but how do you keep from becoming too vanilla? How do you maintain the strawberries and sweet cream swirls? Construction and ice cream analogies in the same post, you can see the problem.