Lists, and verbs, will carry you many a dry mile.
To imitate or not to imitate — the question is easily satisfied. The perils of not imitating are greater than the perils of imitating.
Always remember — the speaker doesn’t do it. The words do it.
Look for verbs of muscle, adjectives of exactitude.
The idea must drive the words. When the words drive the idea, it’s all floss and gloss, elaboration, air bubbles, dross, pomp, frump, strumpeting.
Don’t close the poem as you opened it, unless your name is Blake and you have written a poem about a Tyger.
Blue Pastures (1995), Mary Oliver