Don Paterson, an editor and a poet, claim[s] that â€œA non-poet canâ€™t do a line-edit on a poemâ€; it is essential for an editor to be a poet, too.
Michael Schmidt, the editor of Carcanet Press and PN Review, added that the job can be tricky when grappling with the work of someone from a different culture. â€œIf youâ€™re publishing a Zimbabwean poet or a poet from India or New Zealand, theyâ€™ll speak a language different from your own,â€ he said, adding, â€œThis is an issue between genders as well.â€
Both these points are slightly disquieting. If only poets can edit the work of another, does that mean that only poets fully comprehend the work?