If the reader will struggle to find their flow, you have work to do. Consider Paradise Lost - it flows seamlessly and once you accustom yourself to the Middle English, each line is a delight. When I read it, I pause to savour a line or turn of phrase that shimmers with beauty. I do not pause because of speed bumps written in to it.
When I read any of the greats, I pause on a line that exhibits profundity and beauty.
The One remains, the Many change and pass
is perfect. Likewise, Fitzgerald’s translation of Khayyam’s
The Moving finger writes and having writ moves on
Poetry is usually either free form or rather strict. I write the occasional sonnet and never exceed the selected format.
I had a friend who wrote poetry where word placement was as important as choice and often he would have a single word three quarters of the way along the line and the rest was empty space.
Many years ago, I was involved with a poem by committee that was a parody of Idylls of the King - one thousand couplets.
What you might have is a series of related poems that have their own scheme and rhythm.
I agree with Cyn - you need someone to read it and tell you if it works. Does it flow naturally? Might it be twelve separate poems that might stand better by themselves?
Altering meter is often helpful in avoiding a stilted sound and feel, but such alterations are normally a small percentage of the whole.
With the exception of the poem by committee (nine cantos long), I find poetry is something that I must write in one sitting. I write it, get all the lines down and then come back later with a more critical eye.
Poetry is designed to be heard, so I read it aloud and listen. If it works well and flows, is beautiful, concise and says what I think it says, I forgive the small error of scansion and move on.
In one ballad I wrote, it came to me while I was cleaning the barn. I knew I needed to keep it, so chanted it to myself until I could get home to pen and paper.
If you like what you hear when you read your verse, be satisfied. If you wish to reach an audience, have someone read it and listen to their feedback. Don’t make changes you disagree with - it is your work, not theirs.
Blake once said he never wrote poetry, he took divine dictation. His choice to have a creative spelling of Tyger was perfect. Quintessential Blake, simple words that are placed with perfection to create something profound and beautiful.
If you over edit your poem, you might kill it. Be careful.
This might be juvenlia - I know that much of my poetry will never leave the drawer, but it lead to more interesting pieces and served the purpose of instruction.
I learned what my poetic voice is and have learned that while I can sit down to work on my novel, poetry must wait until it speaks.