Q: We have been wondering why you should have to write and rewrite your poetry (for instance, "Savitri" ten or twelve times) when you have all the inspiration at your command and do not have to receive it with the difficulty that faces budding Yogis like us.
A: That is very simple. I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental level, each time I could reach a higher level I rewrote from that level. Moreover I was particular -- if part seemed to me to come from any lower levels I was not satisfied to leave it because it was good poetry. All had to be as far as possible of the same mint. In fact Savitri has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one's own Yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative. I did not rewrite Rose of God or the sonnets except for two or three verbal alterations made at the moment.
From Volume 26, p.239. Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, "On Himself"