the way it really happened

Discussing the draft of a new poem last night, I found myself close to using the phrase “but that’s the way it really happened” as justification for including an apparently inessential word.

This startled me. After all, I’ve made it clear that I don’t think of poetry as autobiographical. Life is a stepping off point for poetry, but I think facts can – and should – be sacrificed if they interfere with the poetical worth of the writing. So what made this particular occasion different?
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