In my writing and reading experience, there seem to be two main schools of poetic operation.
The first combines extensive research and unwavering editing, always intently paring down the product to the point where it may become unrecognizable from the initial idea, and usually the result of all that work is a beautiful nugget that makes readers scratch their heads in wonderment.
The second is an organic process in which an idea may have been conceived before writing, but every word put down holds a new possibility for the very next word, and the process continues until the writer feels the image or message has been achieved. This method takes much less time, and in many ways meets or exceeds the quality of the researching and agonizing.
I prefer to write in the second style, but if I get a must-write idea that requires further thought, I’ll be voracious in my research and try for a polished product.
How can you not love poetry?!