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Firemajic
September 4th, 2017, 10:33 PM
What is the value of a critique? None, if it is ignored, ridiculed, made fun of, and belittled and opens the door for the opportunity for a personal attack on members and mentors....
I cant tell you how many back slapping, atta boy, good job! blah blah comments I have made on thousands of mediocre, bland uninspired poems... not once was I ridiculed for the praise! Oh my!!! all those "thank you"s .... oh the appreciation!. But the problem arises when real constructive, helpful critique and comments are offered.... wow, it is time to kill the messenger! Seriously... and the very ones who cant take constructive comments are the same ones WHO DISH IT OUT! Check yourself... Ask yourself "WHY"... Why does any negative comments inflame you, disturb you... Now, ask yourself why YOU can dish out negative comments.... how does that work... how does this attitude help, support and inspire.... sooo, to keep the feathers from getting ruffled and precious, empty egos intact, should the critique be modified to fit and cater to the ego.... What value is there in empty praise like "GOOD JOB!! "I enjoyed your poem! Is that what the poetry thread is all about? Is that the direction we are to take? Are the Mentors being muzzled.... I think so... What happened to the serious poet, who welcomes a strong critique... read the poetry thread, and tell me, where THAT poet went....

H.Brown
September 4th, 2017, 10:40 PM
Fire I don't think the mentors are being muzzled at all, I think that certain members need to realise that not everything is there to be hatefull or mean. I for one would value your critiques if I wrote poetry as how else are you to improve if everyone tells you everything is amazing.

Firemajic
September 4th, 2017, 10:49 PM
Fire I don't think the mentors are being muzzled at all, I think that certain members need to realise that not everything is there to be hatefull or mean. I for one would value your critiques if I wrote poetry as how else are you to improve if everyone tells you everything is amazing.


I appreciate your kind words... but you are part of the 2% that wants to improve.
read the threads... DarKKin is one of the most brilliant critics along with sas, and time after time they have been ridiculed, accused of being rude, nasty, stupid, illiterate ect... Offer praise, and you are thanked, applauded, and held in high esteem...

Darkkin
September 4th, 2017, 10:56 PM
The stuff I post is designed to withstand broadsiding by critique because I know what I dole out when I critique a piece. I don't pull punches. I comment on the work. And I do take other's observations into account when I do get comments back. Writing is blood, sweat, practice and revision. It isn't sunshine and rainbows, anyone expecting that really has no clue about writing, nor does it demonstrate a willingness to further one's craft. Forums like this, their core purpose is furthering one's understanding. Shop talk on the craft, not empty platitudes. Those serious about their craft should not have to pull up short and pander to refrigerator posts.

Bedrock foundations. Some of us have them. And those foundations show through in constructive critique, where the logic, the reasoning behind it is sound. Casual posters hit the wall of stone and it can take them completely by surprise because they have little or no understanding of what true critique is. A tool. Not an attack.

I've been on the receiving end of more drama over critique 'attacks' than I care to think about, both in real time and online, and there is one unifying factor. The recipient makes it all about them. The critique is mean and unfair...Yada, yada, yada. It's about the writing. The reader knows nothing about the writer. Good Grief! Call Caesar's legions to help build a bridge. If you don't agree or like a critique either defend the writing with a coherent why, or say thank you and move on.

'Because I said so' reasoning does not and never will hold water for those old enough to ask why.

- D.

H.Brown
September 4th, 2017, 11:00 PM
I appreciate your kind words... but you are part of the 2% that wants to improve.
read the threads... DarKKin is one of the most brilliant critics along with sas, and time after time they have been ridiculed, accused of being rude, nasty, stupid, illiterate ect... Offer praise, and you are thanked, applauded, and held in high esteem...

I have seen this Fire however why should the few marr the expirience for others. There are plenty of our members on here that would say the same things as myself. Now in relation to the critiques we have to remember that not everyone is as mature or confident in their own ability to have their work dissected, or are just not ready to hear/read at times the harsh and honest truth.

However as we keep going along we see who can handle your words and who can't I think at times we need to make allowances at times, new members can be a bit touchy when recieving critique. I hope that things imprrove in the poetry thread but don't deny your wisdom to everyone.

Firemajic
September 4th, 2017, 11:05 PM
I have seen this Fire however why should the few marr the expirience for others. There are plenty of our members on here that would say the same things as myself. Now in relation to the critiques we have to remember that not everyone is as mature or confident in their own ability to have their work dissected, or are just not ready to hear/read at times the harsh and honest truth.

However as we keep going along we see who can handle your words and who can't I think at times we need to make allowances at times, new members can be a bit touchy when recieving critique. I hope that things imprrove in the poetry thread but don't deny your wisdom to everyone.

Thank you again for your kindness... I do try to tailor my critique to the skill level of each poet... I expect more from a seasoned poet than a novice, so when I critique, it is geared toward their skill level.. I want to inspire confidence... but at the same time, it must always be honest and respectful...

H.Brown
September 4th, 2017, 11:09 PM
I agree Fire it is how I give critique in the prose forums. I always try to offer honest and detailed critique. My style is to sandwich the bad between the good critique if that makes sense.

Pete_C
September 5th, 2017, 10:53 AM
I think it's fundamentally simple. For me, I am honest in what I say as a part of a critique, but I also accept that I have my own preferences, tastes, biases and faults!!! If people accept what I say for what it is - my opinion - I don't care if they act on it, dismiss it or disagree with it. I am also happy if they want to argue with it, so long as it's done in way that benefits someone; if not them, then maybe another writer.

If they quibble or are rude or disrespectful, I make a mental note to not bother reading their threads, let alone commenting on them. If they're right about what they say to me, I can't help them anyway so I simply ignore them.

I also see many people who will post a poem, receive several comments containing good advice, then they'll post another and another, all showing the same issues that have been highlighted. They just keep on posting without trying to revise or improve their work. Again, it doesn't take long for me to ignore their posts.

There are also those who want in-depth critiques but simply post on the threads of others with smart-arse quips or one line 'Brilliant' type posts. I won't ignore their posts, but I tend to not really put my full effort into their work.

When I first joined WF it was carnage; there were more cliques than a cliquey thing and if you criticised the wrong poem you had their inner circle on your back. It wasn't pleasant, but there were a core of good people so I stuck around (believe me, I think every clique was on my back because of my critiques; Olly even started a thread which was a collection of some of my comments and encouraged others to post their best ones). Only a few of those good people remain today, but they've developed very well.

Internet writing forums will always attract a solid chunk of flotsam, some real turds and a handful of gems. Why let the turds drag the place down to their level? Stay true to your purpose, give good critiques, and know when to ignore people who are not worth the effort.

midnightpoet
September 5th, 2017, 12:19 PM
There's something about the internet that has spawned toxic people who hide behind anonymity to spew hatred and encourage conflict; a few of those people have been here but usually don't stay long. As Pete said, learn to ignore them and don't feed the trolls. It's not like they are small paranoid countries with nukes. Maybe they'll actually grow up and learn something.

Accepting critique with professional courtesy and grace is a learning concept apparently - I learned it a long time ago and it has served me well. Kudos to the mods here and everyone who wants to learn (something you're never too old for),

Nellie
September 5th, 2017, 04:23 PM
Kudos to the mods here and everyone who wants to learn (something you're never too old for),

Kudos to those who can dish it out as well as receiving it. You are so right..... we are never too old for learning something new. BTW, midnight, I love your quote,
"Put brain in gear before putting mouth in motion."

PiP
September 5th, 2017, 08:43 PM
Fire, you know how much I value you as a mentor and your sterling work encouraging new poets. I know poetry is your passion so for you to start this thread concerns me...


What is the value of a critique? None, if it is ignored, ridiculed, made fun of, and belittled and opens the door for the opportunity for a personal attack on members and mentors....

We have too many members just pooping on the poetry boards who do not reciprocate by way of critique. If they had to stop and offer feedback they would be less flippant and more respectful. I don't care if someone says to me: Oh I enjoyed your poem. Great..., thank you :) BUT why did you enjoy it. Was there a particular line you like and if so why? They should make an effort beyond 'Good Job'. Critiquing is a skill which takes time to develop.

On a personal note, I know how many times I reread a poem, then dissect it line by line before I leave feedback. It does not matter if the poet agrees with me as my suggestions are only my opinion as a reader, and it's their poem.


to keep the feathers from getting ruffled and precious, empty egos intact, should the critique be modified to fit and cater to the ego.... What value is there in empty praise like "GOOD JOB!! "I enjoyed your poem! Is that what the poetry thread is all about? Is that the direction we are to take? Are the Mentors being muzzled.... I think so... What happened to the serious poet, who welcomes a strong critique... read the poetry thread, and tell me, where THAT poet went....

The mentors or indeed any member should never feel muzzled and if they do we take it backstage and discuss. We need to know. If anyone feels they are being bullied, please let us know. If you receive malicious PMs let us know.

If certain members cannot handle/don't want critique they start a WF blog or post to Tavern Poetry. Critique should not be modified to cater for egos. There is also no value in the 'Good Job' comment brigade. So no, it is not the direction we should encourage....


What happened to the serious poet, who welcomes a strong critique... read the poetry thread, and tell me, where THAT poet went....

Are we referring to one thread or poets in general? We have plenty of poets who welcome and value serious critique, myself included. However, I post to the workshop boards... the clue being 'workshop'. I want to work with fellow poets to not only improve my poem but technique in general.


but you are part of the 2% that wants to improve.

I think we have a lot more than 2%, Fire :)


https://www.writingforums.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by H.Brown https://www.writingforums.com/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (https://www.writingforums.com/showthread.php?p=2104586#post2104586)I have seen this Fire however why should the few marr the experience for others. There are plenty of our members on here that would say the same things as myself. Now in relation to the critiques we have to remember that not everyone is as mature or confident in their own ability to have their work dissected, or are just not ready to hear/read at times the harsh and honest truth.


However as we keep going along we see who can handle your words and who can't I think at times we need to make allowances at times, new members can be a bit touchy when receiving critique. I hope that things improve in the poetry thread but don't deny your wisdom to everyone.

Hannah, I agree.

RHPeat
September 6th, 2017, 12:48 AM
Considering what makes a poetry workshop or forum.

1. When the writer can realize that a critique in a workshop is just a suggestion; they just might be getting close to being the master of their own work. That the readers are part of the craft as one of the humanities. And that they have all the final decisions

2. A real workshop critique should never speak of the poet/writer at all. It should be directed toward the work as a presentation to be interpreted. (personal attachments to work in a workshop, is the art of the crybaby.) Real poets expect the diversity of life itself and in all commentary concerning their writing. After all that is what make poetry a humanity — human experience. Listening opens the gates.

3. If a poem is to stand on it's own merit as a unique bit of writing, where should that take place? In the workshop if you truly have the writers with a diversity of worthwhile poetic understandings and information. Draw on all resources to create a strong poetry workshop. Encourage all who offer the greater depth of concern.

4. The writer should find out through work shopping weather the poem in question has merit before it's sent out to any publisher. And everyone in the workshop should be considered as a contemporary with nothing to lose of gain in offering their suggestions and opinions about any presented work on that forum/workshop for the benefit of all other writers being open to critique at the same time.

5. Negative and/or positive are not relevant at all if the critique is directed toward the presentation and not the writer. For what is truly needed are real reasons for making any suggestions or changes. Without them the workshop is nothing at all but a pretend romance. The writers themselves can choose what works best for them in the end. They always own the poem. One doesn't give up ownership because it's open for critique in a workshop.

6. Compliance is not part of any critique in any poetry workshop or forum. Face that reality from the start. The person that thinks they are forced into compliance as the correct response has an overwhelming ego problem. Get over it.

7. Any suggestions should be thanked if you ask me; it doesn't matter if it is liked or disliked, agreed upon or disagreed upon. It is just the consideration for your contemporary that took the time to think about another person's poem as a complete presentation who offered what might improve the poem pro or con.

8. Face it — cutting is a part of the reality of rewriting. If you don't want to rewrite it; don't post the poem. And suggesting something doesn't hurt anyone when the final decision always rests in the writer's hands through ownership of the poem. A suggestion is just a suggestion, nothing else.

9. Poems posted on any workshop or forum should always be considered works in progress. What poet whats to rework a poem they consider finished? None that I know off. So any personal attachment is really out of whack with reality. Workshops are for the open posting of poems for considered improvements and nothing else. Bring in finished work, and you are opening the poem up to real scrutiny of the highest kind in any workshop. You are asking for it to be torn apart. And it will be done if it's posted. You are asking it to be looked at as a work in progress.

10. Workshops are for tearing poems apart and analyzing them at length for all their hidden secrets. Knowing a bit about form/content is something that dose help one offer a good critique for another as well as receive a critique from others. And anger should never be a part of the workshop if the comments are directed toward the presentations and not the writer/authors/ and/or poets. It's far more about the acceptance as part of the group. Learn to trust those that offer you insights about your writing even if they tell you what you don't want to hear at times. That is part what makes a workshop worthwhile.

a poet friend
RH Peat

H.Brown
September 6th, 2017, 09:48 AM
Considering what makes a poetry workshop or forum.

1. When the writer can realize that a critique in a workshop is just a suggestion; they just might be getting close to being the master of their own work. That the readers are part of the craft as one of the humanities. And that they have all the final decisions

2. A real workshop critique should never speak of the poet/writer at all. It should be directed toward the work as a presentation to be interpreted. (personal attachments to work in a workshop, is the art of the crybaby.) Real poets expect the diversity of life itself and in all commentary concerning their writing. After all that is what make poetry a humanity — human experience. Listening opens the gates.

3. If a poem is to stand on it's own merit as a unique bit of writing, where should that take place? In the workshop if you truly have the writers with a diversity of worthwhile poetic understandings and information. Draw on all resources to create a strong poetry workshop. Encourage all who offer the greater depth of concern.

4. The writer should find out through work shopping weather the poem in question has merit before it's sent out to any publisher. And everyone in the workshop should be considered as a contemporary with nothing to lose of gain in offering their suggestions and opinions about any presented work on that forum/workshop for the benefit of all other writers being open to critique at the same time.

5. Negative and/or positive are not relevant at all if the critique is directed toward the presentation and not the writer. For what is truly needed are real reasons for making any suggestions or changes. Without them the workshop is nothing at all but a pretend romance. The writers themselves can choose what works best for them in the end. They always own the poem. One doesn't give up ownership because it's open for critique in a workshop.

6. Compliance is not part of any critique in any poetry workshop or forum. Face that reality from the start. The person that thinks they are forced into compliance as the correct response has an overwhelming ego problem. Get over it.

7. Any suggestions should be thanked if you ask me; it doesn't matter if it is liked or disliked, agreed upon or disagreed upon. It is just the consideration for your contemporary that took the time to think about another person's poem as a complete presentation who offered what might improve the poem pro or con.

8. Face it — cutting is a part of the reality of rewriting. If you don't want to rewrite it; don't post the poem. And suggesting something doesn't hurt anyone when the final decision always rests in the writer's hands through ownership of the poem. A suggestion is just a suggestion, nothing else.

9. Poems posted on any workshop or forum should always be considered works in progress. What poet whats to rework a poem they consider finished? None that I know off. So any personal attachment is really out of whack with reality. Workshops are for the open posting of poems for considered improvements and nothing else. Bring in finished work, and you are opening the poem up to real scrutiny of the highest kind in any workshop. You are asking for it to be torn apart. And it will be done if it's posted. You are asking it to be looked at as a work in progress.

10. Workshops are for tearing poems apart and analyzing them at length for all their hidden secrets. Knowing a bit about form/content is something that dose help one offer a good critique for another as well as receive a critique from others. And anger should never be a part of the workshop if the comments are directed toward the presentations and not the writer/authors/ and/or poets. It's far more about the acceptance as part of the group. Learn to trust those that offer you insights about your writing even if they tell you what you don't want to hear at times. That is part what makes a workshop worthwhile.

a poet friend
RH Peat

Very well said RH Peat. :-)

Firemajic
September 7th, 2017, 01:03 AM
Fire, you know how much I value you as a mentor and your sterling work encouraging new poets. I know poetry is your passion so for you to start this thread concerns me...
PiP, if you think this thread is in any way inappropriate ... I will of course delete it.





On a personal note, I know how many times I reread a poem, then dissect it line by line before I leave feedback.***** It does not matter if the poet agrees with me as my suggestions are only my opinion as a reader, and it's their poem.
Right, it is their poem, and I do not care if they take any of my suggestions... however, a personal attack should not be launched .... no one deserves to be belittled, called names, told to leave, ect.... that takes this to another level, a mean, bullying, spiteful, ugly level.
It is sad when other members are so quick to jump in, when they have no dog in the fight, and turn a simple critique into a pissing contest... I am a mentor and I am a mentor for a reason... because I love what I do. It is not about ego, I do not think I know more than anyone else... I assumed we were all adults, and could exchange ideas and creative thoughts, through a RESPECTFUL dialogue....










.

aj47
September 7th, 2017, 03:30 AM
I think there are some points to be made.

A critique is of the work, not the author. If an author is taking something said about the work as a personal affront, they need to breathe deeply a few times and remember that it is their work and not their person or their character that is being scrutinized. As an author, if you don't want people to look at your work, then by golly, don't post it on the internet.

Now if someone assails the person or character of an author, that is not a critique and is a personal attack and against forum rules. Should anyone see this, the proper response is to click on the little triangle warning symbol on the post and report it. The staff are not omniscient, omnipresent, or omnimuchofanything. Looking away or pretending not to see it is a silent vote of support for the behavior. If not you, then who?

If someone says something about your work that you disagree with, that is perfectly okay. They are bringing their best game to try to help you improve. They may not see something from the angle you do or they may not understand why you did what you did. You can express your disagreement with their ideas, concepts, suggestions, etc. without getting personal. This is true for everyone here. When you see someone crossing the line and attacking the writer of a critique, report it. This does not make you a snitch (this is the internet and everything here is going down in public and staff will see it at some point). What it does is hasten justice for the wronged party.

andrewclunn
September 12th, 2017, 03:25 AM
There is only one time that I've considered questioning some criticism I got on this forum one one of my pieces in a harsh way. It's the context for the criticism that made the particular criticism problematic, but also I cannot reveal that context without making it abundantly clear the situation I'm talking about. Sometimes, SOMETIMES, it actually is an issue because criticism is more than that (and I"m not talking about harassment here). There's a case I'd like to make here, but I find myself unable to without naming the particular case (which I'm obviously not going to do). So while it's true that people should be able to take criticism, and most harsh reactions to it are overreactions, I don't think that's a hard and fast rule.

Olly Buckle
September 12th, 2017, 11:55 AM
Basics for me in any crit. though to be honest I don't crit as much in poetry as would be good for me.

Start by saying something nice. I am not saying tell lies, but even if there is nothing good to say about their writing you can still say it is good to see them taking part and joining in, and there is usually something which is worth praising in the writing, like what it is attempting.

"I don't crit as much in poetry as would be good for me." A good crit. will stretch the critter's intellectual muscles, sniping is simply making throwaway remarks on the whole, very few people really stretch themselves to be unpleasant. If it is a considered, relevant, comment it should be acceptable even if it is negative, but back to my first point, it will be more acceptable if it is preceded by something positive.

There is a principle that people like advertisers and politicians use that works very well, if you want someone to accept something new you give them two pieces of information they can agree with first; they call it pace, pace, lead. It does not have to be obvious, 'It is good to see you in the poetry thread, and that you have posted your first poem ...' That may simply look like guff, but they know it is the poetry thread, and they have posted, and I said it is good to see them which says something pleasant to start. It is not a waste of time if it means the person then reads the rest of the post and takes it on board. On the other hand there is the 'Jay Greenstein post', the poor man has something that is probably worth saying and reading, but manages to say it in such a way that I am willing to bet the vast majority of people simply skim it at best, (sorry, Jay if you read this, but you should consider studying a bit of rhetoric. Having a point is essential, but rhetoric helps get the point across.)

sas
September 12th, 2017, 05:20 PM
Laughing. I absolutely love how Jay Greenstein gets to the point. I never miss his comments because he backs them up & is astute about what it takes to be a good writer. He gets to the rat killin'. Wish he wrote poetry. He could kill my rats, anytime. I'm not fond of gratuitous compliments that are obviously placed to soften what is going to be said, and recognized from a mile away. True work shoppers shouldn't need them. As I've said often, I don't need them (so, skip with me). Guess I look at workshop as I did work. Get to it. Get it done. Try to get it right. One's efforts for others ARE the kindness.

Phil Istine
September 12th, 2017, 08:02 PM
Laughing. I absolutely love how Jay Greenstein gets to the point. I never miss his comments because he backs them up & is astute about what it takes to be a good writer. He gets to the rat killin'. Wish he wrote poetry. He could kill my rats, anytime. I'm not fond of gratuitous compliments that are obviously placed to soften what is going to be said, and recognized from a mile away. True work shoppers shouldn't need them. As I've said often, I don't need them (so, skip with me). Guess I look at workshop as I did work. Get to it. Get it done. Try to get it right. One's efforts for others ARE the kindness.

Although it sometimes feels like I'm reading a cut and paste job from another of his crits, sometimes I need a bit of repetition before the message sinks in :) . And a book he keeps recommending does seem to have some value for me.
Still, why waste time varying the wording when exactly the same issue(s) might apply? :)
Seriously, even though I don't always like the way it feels, it does motivate me to think more about my writing - so maybe that's not so terrible.

Olly Buckle
September 12th, 2017, 08:13 PM
I'm not fond of gratuitous compliments that are obviously placed to soften what is going to be said, and recognized from a mile away. True work shoppers shouldn't need them. As I've said often, I don't need them (so, skip with me). Guess I look at workshop as I did work. Get to it. Get it done. Try to get it right. One's efforts for others ARE the kindness.

I see the point, and I probably would be less concientious when I am dealing with one of the 'Old Timers' I know, but with a new-comer or someone I don't know well I think it is worth the effort of phrasing things so they will be taken on board and considered. If it helps get the point over I don't see it as gratuitous, any more than taking the effort to show the reader in an interestesting way, rather than just telling him, getting on with it, and losing him.

andrewclunn
September 12th, 2017, 08:50 PM
I cant tell you how many back slapping, atta boy, good job! blah blah comments I have made on thousands of mediocre, bland uninspired poems...

Every time you "like" a poem of mine from now on I'm going to feel a knife slowly twisting in my back :grief:

PiP
September 12th, 2017, 09:07 PM
I'm not fond of gratuitous compliments that are obviously placed to soften what is going to be said, and recognized from a mile away. True work shoppers shouldn't need them. As I've said often, I don't need them (so, skip with me). Guess I look at workshop as I did work. Get to it. Get it done. Try to get it right. One's efforts for others ARE the kindness.

That's why I prefer to post my poetry in the Workshop... just tell me why my piggin' poem sucks... I am here to learn. I don't like candy, have the hide of a hog and the patience of a gnat.

Firemajic
September 12th, 2017, 09:26 PM
Every time you "like" a poem of mine from now on I'm going to feel a knife slowly twisting in my back :grief:

Okk, well you missed the entire point of this thread, I was speaking of how I used to critique... then I got wise.. I learned from the critiques that inspired me, the ones that were honest, insightful, intelligent and respectful... and then I changes my POV, I am not doing anyone any favors if I pat them on the back and applaud a vapid, empty, ambiguous splatter of words on a screen... I want honesty, and I now give honesty... the point of my comment was that no one got upset with me when I told them what they wanted to hear, but blood was spilled if I gave my honest opinion, and lets not forget... that IS what a critique is... an opinion. Period, it is not a personal attack, until you make it one...

If you feel a knife in your back... it won't be mine, I will come for you face to face and plunge my knife in your chest... ;)

Chesters Daughter
September 12th, 2017, 10:32 PM
I could kiss you for this bit of brilliance, Olly:


I see the point, and I probably would be less concientious when I am dealing with one of the 'Old Timers' I know, but with a new-comer or someone I don't know well I think it is worth the effort of phrasing things so they will be taken on board and considered. If it helps get the point over I don't see it as gratuitous, any more than taking the effort to show the reader in an interestesting way, rather than just telling him, getting on with it, and losing him.

Us Old Timers have skin that defies bazooka shells, so yes, if you know the OP is seasoned, skip the sugary shit and shoot from the hip. Please keep in mind that even we veterans sometimes get touchy, but we've been around the block enough to know how to conduct ourselves. What I'm begging everyone to do is to consider whose thread you're posting in, if it's a vet, straight for the jugular, but if the poster is new or unknown to you, speak honestly but try to temper your manner of delivery so that what you're saying can be absorbed and considered. Please realize that new folks don't know us as people, or how things run on the board. Those sticking a toe in the water for the first time only to find it bitten off by an alligator they do not know who's growling "this is wrong and that is wrong or what were you thinking" is enough to make anyone throw in the pen. It is possible to deliver pure honesty, tempered with any little bit of good you can find, even if it's proper grammar or a decent concept, so that the poster does not feel like a failure.

We all start at the beginning, and the beginners are ours to teach, and I can't tell you how many know nothings turned into big somethings since I've been here, but it is our duty to the craft itself to offer knowledge in a manner that is embraceable. Honesty doesn't have to feel like chastisement, it is a tool we should wield with respect and dignity. Skill level should be considered when it comes to critique, I'm not talking coddling, just consideration.

Lastly, if you know for a fact that someone merely wants pats on the back and prefers to remain mired in substandard muck of their own making, it doesn't take us too long to figure out who they are, don't waste your time and refrain from commenting at all. We should concentrate our efforts on those who appreciate it and we will be rewarded with watching them blossom before our eyes.

Articulate Lady
September 13th, 2017, 12:58 AM
It was really difficult for me when I first came here. My first poem was a mess, and even though I thought it was a great poem written from the heart, it was really unorganized and hard to follow. I see that now after accepting the critique that was given to me.

I have to admit, Darkkin was the first person to critique my poem and I was devastated. I had no idea how bad it was, and I took it to heart. But even though i was hurt, I remained calm and was courteous to her and thanked her for her critique. Not once did I lash out at her for it.

I will say this, as a beginner, some people should take that into consideration, although if i was really afraid of critique, I wouldn't post in the main Poetry section and just stick to the workshop like PiP.

It is all about etiquette, and people on the internet have a habit of being unkind and unruly. It's just the nature of the beast, I guess.

Darkkin
September 13th, 2017, 02:53 AM
Critique is an opinion. People who take it as an assault upon themselves really do not have an idea of what critique truly is. An impartial observation on the writing not the writer. The reader doesn't know the writer from Adam, so how is proper critique a personal attack? It isn't logical. The work is the direct object, not the author. Critique, stemming from the roots of critical technique, not criticism of the individual. Basic critical thinking skills, the crucial why behind an observation. Writing is blood, sweat, and savage edits.

And while I might have fewer years in my dish than many here, my shields are thick and armor hard won. (A lifetime of people telling me I cannot, am not able, and do not know how...Few bothered to ever provide a why and believe me, I made sure to ask. It is also a big part of the reason I think 'Because I said so' reasoning is a load of bullshit.) If a writer likes something, that is their right as the author, they don't have to change a thing, as critique is simply an opinion. If they don't have a why beyond the 'Well it sounds good', then chances are a) not much thought has gone into a piece or b) the writer is too emotionally attached to a piece and cannot address issues objectively.

I keep it on the work and only the work and I do not pull punches, but I also make sure I include the reason why something doesn't work. Math and science teachers chronically harp on the phrase: Show your work. The same needs to apply to critique. Show examples. The reasonings behind why A does not support B or why word X doesn't support context I. The equation needs to balance. Basic logic, it doesn't leave room for ego, but observant readers know enough to pay attention to their emotional reactions ellicted. The empathtic reactions, how they relate to a piece's tone. How well they connect with a wrtier's voice...

I'm horrorible excuse of a human because I stick to basic logic, but I also learn by critiquing. What people do with the observations its totally up to the individual...But as sterile as logic can seem, it forces writers to take a hard look at the writing itself, not the writer's process...As a reader, the writer's process needs to remain on the writer's side of the fourth wall, it has no bearing on the context of the content. If there is an issue, logic does not care it points out the issue. Technical aspects carry just as much weight as the content.

As a reader, a writer, I also know to practice what I preach. Things like reading aloud, running basic spell check, and making sure my context supports the whole. And being able to reply cogently to a reader's why. If I can't I know the issue needs to be addressed. Just like the shell of Turtle, the fourth wall is a shield. I'm merely a name on a screen, writing will stand or fall on its own merit, no matter the writer's emotional attachment to it. Logic maintains the intergrity of my fourth wall shell and diverts borrowed drama.

This is the internet, so skill levels of writers varied, but there is little point in pandering or pulling punches. True critique does neither. It is concise and to the point. Good writing has structural intergrity and when hit with a rubber mallet it will jiggle like Jello, but maintain its form. (Logic is my rubber mallet and weapon of choice. Useful and nonlethal. ;) ) If there are issues that need to be addressed, logic reveals fissures within the context. Many take the fissures in stride, but some assume that the cracks are reflections of the individual, not the writing. Sorry, but no. It is the writing not the writer. One small conjugation, but a whole world of meaning.

Should I be thanking people for not treating critique like a personal attack? :uncomfortableness: A little logic goes a long way, but means jack shit when the drama starts.

Chesters Daughter
September 13th, 2017, 03:26 AM
Darkkin, you are one of the most knowledgeable poets, and one of the best critters, here. You are in no way "a horrible excuse of a human being" for providing others with the benefit of your expertise. As I've seen no one label you as such publicly, if they have, even privately, please inform me immediately. Just as we expect those being critiqued not to take it personally, their initial upset at finding out their work needs adjustment should not be taken personally, either. Human egos are fragile, and for a beginner poet to find out they're not quite as good as they presumed is a serious blow. Being told they are not perfect will result in a reaction, and that reaction should not be taken personally, either. Please keep doing what you do so well, and please understand that the reactions that result from budding poets finding out they've much to learn isn't directed at you personally. It's the message they're having difficulty with, not the messenger, even though I know sometimes it may feel that way. You are a priceless asset to these boards. Keep doing you, you are irreplaceable.

Kevin
September 13th, 2017, 04:49 AM
It was really difficult for me when I first came here. My first poem was a mess, and even though I thought it was a great poem written from the heart, it was really unorganized and hard to follow. I see that now after accepting the critique that was given to me.

I have to admit, Darkkin was the first person to critique my poem and I was devastated. I had no idea how bad it was, and I took it to heart. But even though i was hurt, I remained calm and was courteous to her and thanked her for her critique. Not once did I lash out at her for it.

I will say this, as a beginner, some people should take that into consideration, although if i was really afraid of critique, I wouldn't post in the main Poetry section and just stick to the workshop like PiP.

It is all about etiquette, and people on the internet have a habit of being unkind and unruly. It's just the nature of the beast, I guess.Sounds like sink or swim, dear, and, uh... you swam :).

Olly Buckle
September 13th, 2017, 08:08 AM
It strikes me that it is quite logical that an emotion based human being should associate with their poetic creations and have personal feelings that they are being 'attacked' when they see 'negative' crit. If the crit is based on the writing does not matter, if they feel the writing is an extension of themselves it is logical for them to feel this way. It is not rational, but people (Some might say especially poets) are not rational, which makes it logical to expect an irrational reaction to these things, helping themtoa rational reaction can be as important as making a logical point, after all there is no logical point in making it if the irrational reaction prevents them appreciating it.

Well done Articulate Lady, you appear to be living up to your name and look like being a valuable addition to the forum, and whilst that comment may not be stricktly necessary, neither is it simply guff ;)

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 02:05 PM
*** It is possible to deliver pure honesty, tempered with any little bit of good you can find, even if it's proper grammar or a decent concept, so that the poster does not feel like a failure.*****

We all start at the beginning,****** and the beginners are ours to teach******, and I can't tell you how many know nothings turned into big somethings since I've been here, but it is our duty to the craft itself to offer knowledge in a manner that is embraceable. Honesty doesn't have to feel like chastisement, it is a tool we should wield with respect and dignity. Skill level should be considered when it comes to critique, I'm not talking coddling, just consideration.

***We should concentrate our efforts on those who appreciate it and we will be rewarded with watching them blossom before our eyes.



This! This should be our CODE OF CONDUCT!!!! Mentors and members alike.... Anyone who is truly passionate about their craft wants to inspire that love in someone else, especially when you can see the willingness to LISTEN and LEARN....Anyone who loves writing and has had the benefit of a wonderful mentor owes a payback. PASS IT ON.... Be kind, supportive, respectful, honest and ALWAYS ENCOURAGING... But, if you cannot be any of these things, then stay out of the way of those who are trying to help, encourage and inspire... stop adding your negative comments , If you are not part of the solution, at least don't be part of the problem...please... let us work together, and make the fabulous poetry thread truly fabulous...

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 02:23 PM
It was really difficult for me when I first came here. My first poem was a mess, and even though I thought it was a great poem written from the heart, it was really unorganized and hard to follow. I see that now after accepting the critique that was given to me.

I have to admit, Darkkin was the first person to critique my poem and I was devastated. I had no idea how bad it was, and I took it to heart. But even though i was hurt, I remained calm and was courteous to her and thanked her for her critique. Not once did I lash out at her for it.
There is absolutely NO REASON to lash out at DarKKin...her critique was about your work, not about you.. I know it hurts, but reading your work to your family is a BAD idea-- IF you want the truth... so, to hear that your poem needs a savage revision was not what you expected, but a few months from now, reread your poem and reread DarKKins critique... I promise you are going to thank her for her brutal honesty.. you have potential, a lot of potential, and you have passion... all you lack now is skill and finesse .... and knowledge, and knowledge comes from critique, researching, reading all things about your craft...

I will say this, as a beginner, some people should take that into consideration, although if i was really afraid of critique, I wouldn't post in the main Poetry section and just stick to the workshop like PiP.
I think you misunderstand... the workshop is even more intense....

It is all about etiquette, and people on the internet have a habit of being unkind and unruly. It's just the nature of the beast, I guess.

Hang in there, keep writing, posting your work, studying the critiques given, soon you will begin to understand what part of the critique works for your poem and what you are trying to express... No mentor wants to change your style or your voice, they only want it to be more powerful, memorable and beautiful... I am looking forward to reading more of your work... ;)

OOo, one more thing.... do not be afraid to question a critique... if you do not understand a comment, don't be afraid to ask questions, don't be afraid to voice your reasons for the words you used and why you feel the way you feel... open a respectful dialogue about the critique.... ask questions....

Darkkin
September 13th, 2017, 03:11 PM
Critique takes techinque, or lack thereof, into account, the hated why...It pairs the linear processes of technique with emotion, message, imagery, and flow. Order within chaos, something nature does with ease, people have a harder time with because the creative process is messy and intangible. Many beginners don't take into account things like show v. tell or consider why poetry differs from prose. From the subatomic level there is structure, invisible and everchanging, but there.

I don't know how many times I've said I really like the idea, but execution needs to be addressed. Like any discipline writing takes practice, not just clicking the post button. Hey, I'm a writer! Yeah for taking the first steps, but the unseen structure and practical aspects suddenly come into play. How writers react establishes their foundations of their craft. Some build on it with tools given, while others keep tripping over the same stone. e.g. (basic legibility) Even if a reader finds the writing a tad dry, at least they understood the writer's intent. Those writers are much further along the path than those who do not take basic meaning into account. Sure it sounds fancy, but when asked what it means, often times the writer has no more idea of their meaning than the reader...At that point one knows they are really in the weeds. It is a process and there are going to be spills. Carry both salt and band-aids.

Visual aspects like formatting, basic grammar, and spelling go a long way in establishing a reader's impressions with a piece. e.g. Okay, they took time to run spell check and give it a once over. Big step in the right direction. A demonstration of time and some consideration. Believe it or not these are factors in determining a work's readability. Twelve misspelled/missued words in twenty-three line of poetry doesn't bode well. A couple of typos, those happen to everyone. Don't judge the cover, wise advice, but first impressions are a nearly subconscious reaction. The cover draws the attention, the content is what stands or falls.

Something to consider, as a reader, ask: What is it that made you pick up a book or click on a link and start reading? Does the (your) work have one or more of those elements? It is the difference between conscious writing and 'because I say it is' writing.

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 03:41 PM
I don't know how many times I've said I really like the idea, but execution needs to be addressed. Like any discipline writing takes practice, not just clicking the post button. Hey, I'm a writer! Yeah for taking the first steps, but
the unseen **structure and practical aspects** suddenly come into play. How writers react** establishes their foundations of their craft.*** Some build on it with tools given, while others keep tripping over the same stone. .



LMAO... yeah... Maestro, AKA Rcallaci, tried to drum that into our thick skulls... He tried to teach us to know the basics, know the rules... BEFORE you break them... We must have driven him insane... ;)

clark
September 13th, 2017, 04:54 PM
Apologies to all if some of my remarks below have already been covered earlier in the thread.

If my memory serves--and it often doesn't, so be kind--Plato's 'training' for the fledgling Philosopher King stipulated 'ten years of Mathematics', NOT because he was to become a mathematician but because of the discipline in reasoning and logic implicit in studying mathematics. I write free verse poetry, so I'd damned well better know a LOT about the 'verse' I'm 'free' of, before I presume. Free-verse poetry demands that the poet re-invent Form with each and every poem. That's a heavy demand, and the poet should expect, and welcome, differing opinions on Form in the critiques offered by fellow poets. I received the following comment recently: "the rhythm throughout is iambic tetrameter, broken sharply in L7 and L13, so in those lines I would expect to see a reason in the CONTENT for the irregularity in the form, but I see no such reason. So are we dealing with formal errors here, or am I just missing something?" I would cheerfully kill a person of your choice for a critique like that! Every word is focused exclusively on the text of the poem; every word is designed to help me make a stronger poem. Even if I disagree totally with the critic.

Poets should post here to solicit the honest opinions of their colleagues. "Beautiful!" and "Great work!" and "I wept!" are as helpful as. . .the analogies that leap to mind are all obscene. . . . Skim over such 'opinions'. They may jump-start your ego momentarily, but if your poetry and your ego are inextricably wound together, you should take up long-distance trucking, accounting, or dog grooming--just a few possibilities--rather than poetry. Critics should post here to HELP. I can think of no other reason. And if you find yourself typing the word "you" anywhere in your critique, I hope you hear a sharp alarm bell clanging in your head, because you are probably turning from the POEM to the POET, about whom you know nothing. Finally, a reminder to those of our colleagues relatively new to this Art we all love: literary criticism is a generic term that encompasses positive as well as negative commentary. A critique glowing with praise is nonetheless still criticism.

Chesters Daughter
September 13th, 2017, 05:41 PM
Please understand I am not promoting empty and useless "great job, you typed some words, broke them up a bit and called it a poem" here. What I'm trying to get across is that advanced terminology is lost on the beginners. They don't know enough to understand what you're saying if they haven't learned it yet, so they walk away with a feeling that they've failed, but aren't exactly sure why because the reasoning behind the unfavorable critique is expressed in concepts they know nothing about yet. So there they sit believing they've failed, not sure why, and thinking that they'll never get it. Even those with natural ability would end up being disheartened thinking they are way out of their league.

Imagine the apocalypse has come and gone and there's one surgeon left in town, and in a medical emergency you volunteer to assist because you have a wee bit of medical knowledge. So you gown and glove up, proud of yourself for even attempting to dip your toe, and he makes an incision and starts spouting directions and you haven't a clue what he's asking for or what needs to be done. You'd be flustered, perhaps enough to bolt, but one thing's for sure, without some schooling, you wouldn't volunteer again. Not to worry, this snippet has a happy ending, the surgeon is quite proficient and the patient survives.

Advanced terminology cannot be understood by those who haven't even mastered the rudimentary yet. What I'm asking is that if you post in a beginner's thread, please simplify your statements so that they may be embraced. When I arrived here, not only was I unable to understand the more advanced work, when I read the interaction between the advanced poets as they had a go at each other, I had no idea what they were talking about. Might as well have been a language other than English. I felt like an idiot and it didn't feel so good. When I received critique on my horrible efforts, a good deal went right over my head. Too proud to ask for clarification, I remained an idiot. I realized that without help, I would not improve, which I desired above all things, so I reached out to Baron and he tutored me via PM, bless his talented and kind soul. Eventually, I learned enough to hold my own. Like me, there are quite a few who won't ask for clarification, so it should be our goal to make things as simplified as possible for new poets. Those who wish to learn will surface.

The beginners are are the future of the craft we love so well. It won't do to chase them away with terminology that is overwhelming, incomprehensible and may lead to the belief that this thing we do with our words is beyond their grasp.

Articulate Lady
September 13th, 2017, 06:27 PM
Please understand I am not promoting empty and useless "great job, you typed some words, broke them up a bit and called it a poem" here. What I'm trying to get across is that advanced terminology is lost on the beginners. They don't know enough to understand what you're saying if they haven't learned it yet, so they walk away with a feeling that they've failed, but aren't exactly sure why because the reasoning behind the unfavorable critique is expressed in concepts they know nothing about yet. So there they sit believing they've failed, not sure why, and thinking that they'll never get it. Even those with natural ability would end up being disheartened thinking they are way out of their league.

Imagine the apocalypse has come and gone and there's one surgeon left in town, and in a medical emergency you volunteer to assist because you have a wee bit of medical knowledge. So you gown and glove up, proud of yourself for even attempting to dip your toe, and he makes an incision and starts spouting directions and you haven't a clue what he's asking for or what needs to be done. You'd be flustered, perhaps enough to bolt, but one thing's for sure, without some schooling, you wouldn't volunteer again. Not to worry, this snippet has a happy ending, the surgeon is quite proficient and the patient survives.

Advanced terminology cannot be understood by those who haven't even mastered the rudimentary yet. What I'm asking is that if you post in a beginner's thread, please simplify your statements so that they may be embraced. When I arrived here, not only was I unable to understand the more advanced work, when I read the interaction between the advanced poets as they had a go at each other, I had no idea what they were talking about. Might as well have been a language other than English. I felt like an idiot and it didn't feel so good. When I received critique on my horrible efforts, a good deal went right over my head. Too proud to ask for clarification, I remained an idiot. I realized that without help, I would not improve, which I desired above all things, so I reached out to Baron and he tutored me via PM, bless his talented and kind soul. Eventually, I learned enough to hold my own. Like me, there are quite a few who won't ask for clarification, so it should be our goal to make things as simplified as possible for new poets. Those who wish to learn will surface.

The beginners are are the future of the craft we love so well. It won't do to chase them away with terminology that is overwhelming, incomprehensible and may lead to the belief that this thing we do with our words is beyond their grasp.

What is said here is EXACTLY how I feel. I am more than a beginner, I am a novice when it comes to poetry in every sense of the word. And truth be told, if this wonderful woman (Chester's Daughter), didn't comment on my poetry thread, I would have left it feeling belittled and broken with no desire to even attempt to write poetry again. I appreciate critique, but I am at the stage where I just don't understand it. I know nothing of "correct" poetry, and when I am staring at a blank page now, I am so unsure of how to proceed. I feel like my imagination is being stifled, if I can be so bold to say.

But as a beginner, I understand that people are here to give their opinions and are just trying to be helpful. Beginners should keep in mind that these are people that have been writing poetry a long time (or even some who haven't), but they are just trying to improve our work not tear us down. It's a slippery slope, and it does leave one discouraged. The lesson here is to keep trying and maybe find a mentor, someone to help with your poetry, or like others have told me, read, read, and read some more.

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 07:00 PM
What is said here is EXACTLY how I feel. I am more than a beginner, I am a novice when it comes to poetry in every sense of the word. And truth be told, if this wonderful woman (Chester's Daughter), didn't comment on my poetry thread, I would have left it feeling belittled and broken with no desire to even attempt to write poetry again. I appreciate critique, but I am at the stage where I just don't understand it. I know nothing of "correct" poetry, and when I am staring at a blank page now, I am so unsure of how to proceed. I feel like my imagination is being stifled, if I can be so bold to say.

But as a beginner, I understand that people are here to give their opinions and are just trying to be helpful. Beginners should keep in mind that these are people that have been writing poetry a long time (or even some who haven't), but they are just trying to improve our work not tear us down. It's a slippery slope, and it does leave one discouraged. The lesson here is to keep trying and maybe find a mentor, someone to help with your poetry, or like others have told me, read, read, and read some more.


Hahaa, Rcallaci used to say that a poet needs thick skin... what does that even mean? And how do we do that? Well, it means that we do exactly like you are doing, writing, posting our work for critique, and when that critique stings, you rub on some salve and get busy improving... and little by little, you realize that the critiques are tools ... little by little your attitude about critiques will mature.. and then one day... you realize your skin has thickened, your skills are awesome, your confidence strong and your poetry is powerful... ;)

Chesters Daughter
September 13th, 2017, 07:27 PM
I love you, Jul. You're a master at offering critique that is skill level appropriate, and are able to teach even the greenest of the green. When I recently told you how much I value your contributions, I should have told you you are my right hand instead of just alluding to it. So here goes, you, Jul, are my right hand. Thank you for all you do, my darling.

Thank you, Lynn, pink cheeks here thanks to your very kind words. You've read my post and now know that I, too, came here knowing nothing. I guess that's why I'm on this particular mission, loath to lose folks like you. I'm thrilled that you're staying, before you know it, you'll be teaching the green, too.

H.Brown
September 13th, 2017, 07:30 PM
Remember guys we can also ask for any part of a critique to be explained to us as sometimes this helps a beginner to undestand and therefore move forward with their skills. :-)

Articulate Lady
September 13th, 2017, 07:33 PM
Remember guys we can also ask for any part of a critique to be explained to us as sometimes this helps a beginner to undestand and therefore move forward with their skills. :-)

Sometimes you don't even know what to ask, because you can't understand any of it all. Unless you want the person to explain every last detail to you.

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 07:36 PM
I love you, Jul. You're a master at offering critique that is skill level appropriate, and are able to teach even the greenest of the green. When I recently told you how much I value your contributions, I should have told you you are my right hand instead of just alluding to it. So here goes, you, Jul, are my right hand. Thank you for all you do, my darling.

Thank you, Lynn, pink cheeks here thanks to your very kind words. You've read my post and now know that I, too, came here knowing nothing. I guess that's why I'm on this particular mission, loath to lose folks like you. I'm thrilled that you're staying, before you know it, you'll be teaching the green, too.


Lisa, you were one of the most patient, kind, generous mentors I had, when I arrived here, shy, scared... and desperate to be heard... I am only giving back what was so kindly given to me....
it is because of you and Gumby, rcallaci and many more, that I am the mentor that I am... I learned from the best...

Lynn, my mentoring door is always open, and I would be honored if I could help you in any way... poetry is my passion and I can see that you are passionate about your work... we have so much in common.. ;)

Articulate Lady
September 13th, 2017, 07:44 PM
Lynn, my mentoring door is always open, and I would be honored if I could help you in any way... poetry is my passion and I can see that you are passionate about your work... we have so much in common.. ;)

Thank you so much Fire! I really appreciate that. I just put my second poem out there, which I think was a great improvement from the last one. I hope it is well received. I will wait a bit and see how others comment, but if I really get stuck and can't apply their feedback to improve my work I will definitely reach out!

You are most kind, like everyone I have met on this site so far. I am really enjoying being here. Thank you so much!

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 07:46 PM
Sometimes you don't even know what to ask, because you can't understand any of it all. Unless you want the person to explain every last detail to you.


You keep asking until you understand ... period. What good is wisdom and knowledge given, if it is not understood? It is worthless... Be bold, don't be shy, if someone critiques your work... they damn well better be able to answer EVERY question you have...

Articulate Lady
September 13th, 2017, 07:49 PM
You keep asking until you understand ... period. What good is wisdom and knowledge given, if it is not understood? It is worthless... Be bold, don't be shy, if someone critiques your work... they damn well better be able to answer EVERY question you have...

This is a very true point. I will try again with my next piece. I think my first one couldn't be helped, unless I totally re-wrote it, since it had all the repetitions like someone mentioned. But you're right, I shouldn't be afraid to ask.

Firemajic
September 13th, 2017, 07:49 PM
Thank you so much Fire! I really appreciate that. I just put my second poem out there, which I think was a great improvement from the last one. I hope it is well received. I will wait a bit and see how others comment, but if I really get stuck and can't apply their feedback to improve my work I will definitely reach out!

You are most kind, like everyone I have met on this site so far. I am really enjoying being here. Thank you so much!

No, thank you... poets like you are my inspiration, and why I still love mentoring... ;)

H.Brown
September 13th, 2017, 08:04 PM
Sometimes you don't even know what to ask, because you can't understand any of it all. Unless you want the person to explain every last detail to you.

To be fair I would if I didn't understand any of the critique offered, it is sometimes the only way to learn and it also allows others to see what type of help you are needing, I use this approach when dealing with critiques I recieve on my work and especially in my basic poetry.

clark
September 14th, 2017, 04:26 AM
Sometimes you don't even know what to ask, because you can't understand any of it all. Unless you want the person to explain every last detail to you.

That's okay! Remember the old saw, "give someone a fish, you feed them for a day; teach them how to fish, you feed them for a lifetime." When I started teaching, an older hand reviewed a bunch of my graded papers. He said, "your comments remind me of a tennis coach I had once. He watched me serve a number of times, then said to me, clearly a little annoyed, 'you're serving the ball into the net. Stop serving the ball into the net.' then he glared at me." I protested vehemently that I was NOT doing that. The older hand pointed out that I'd circled 4 examples of subject/verb disagreement and in my summary of errors I wrote "review subj/verb agr." I blushed and mumbled "stop serving the ball into the net. . ." How could the writer RE-view something he hadn't yet "viewed"? I got it. I referred the student to a specific section of the text and told him I didn't want to see such errors in future papers. I didn't. Returning to our context: if a new poet has, say, written a metaphor, the parts of which simply do not work together, simply don't make sense, I don't mind commenting on "every last detail" of that issue, but with a view to using those details as a springboard into Metaphor-At-Large. Or, if available, I might be able to refer the poet to an extant thread that discusses Metaphor. Or if in doubt, I might ASK how comfortable the new poet is with metaphor? Maybe not at all. Maybe we can get a conversation going? I guess what I'm getting at, from one angle, is if you are a neophyte eager for basic guidance on basic stuff, just say so. You might even preamble a particular poem with specific concerns you'd like help on. And please don't think because you're new to the Art that your opinion in 'less than'. NOT SO. Poetry is an Art of feeling, emotion, intuition, and imagination. You bring all of that to bear on every poem you read, and just because you may at this stage lack a 'technical' vocabulary, does not mean you don't have insights of value to the poet. We're all in the same boat, trying to find the right paddle. . . .

Olly Buckle
September 14th, 2017, 11:27 PM
Excellent post, clark. One point I would disagree slightly,

'You might even preamble a particular poem with specific concerns you'd like help on.'

My experience is that such requests are better placed after the piece of work. There are a certain number of people who will be put off by it and never get past to the poem, but more, it is a good idea to let people form their opinion first before asking questions which may influence their reading.

clark
September 15th, 2017, 12:15 AM
A timely caution, Olly. I agree--position specific concerns after the piece itself. Makes more sense.

Chinspinner
September 15th, 2017, 05:49 PM
An interesting topic. There was a slightly grey area in your argument that I want to resolve; am I allowed to beat people around the head with their own manuscripts?

Chesters Daughter
September 15th, 2017, 05:58 PM
An interesting topic. There was a slightly grey area in your argument that I want to resolve; am I allowed to beat people around the head with their own manuscripts?
Unless you want to get to know me really, really well, which I assure you, you don't, there will be no beating of anyone with anything. Ever. Lol.

andrewclunn
October 2nd, 2017, 05:12 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v4R2ZcxPlA

Chesters Daughter
October 2nd, 2017, 05:25 PM
Me hat's off to thee, Sir Andrew. Thank you, that video is priceless.

Olly Buckle
October 2nd, 2017, 05:42 PM
Anyone notice Articulate Lady's last post?
https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173430-The-Captain-and-His-Sea/page2?p=2106903&viewfull=1#post2106903
She is still here, last activity yesterday, but she has gone from someone who was an active and useful member to lurker, still think it is not worth pointing out the good stuff as well when you crit?

I keep checking, just in case she starts posting again, I rather liked her.

Darkkin
October 2nd, 2017, 06:28 PM
Maybe something to add to a suggestion thread: A protected area for members not ready to swim in the ocean of full on critique. Reply posts requiring two positive attributes per one negative attributed noted. Sandwich critique method only...Admittence to said area approved by mentors and mods only. Cage diving so to speak, sharks and orcas at a safe distance.

Allow a place for safe, warm water wading...Pretty, pristine, and fragile, much like a reef. But it is the deep, fierce cold water currents that is the foundation of the oceans' abundance and diversity. From algae blooms to the blue whale. A tough enivornment, much like the reality of writing.

Critique is a tool, always has been and will be. Opinion, not holy writ. A hammer can slip from one's hands and land painfully on a toe...But what the writer does with the hammer is entirely up to them. Swear, hop about a bit, and return to the job. Take some time to ice the toe. Or walk away swearing to never take up a tool again because tools are now equated with toil and pain.

Pete_C
October 3rd, 2017, 08:23 AM
A small percentage of successful writing is the original idea. The real work lies in honing it, trimming off the rough edges, polishing it and then reassessing. It's not over at that point, and often needs further work. Trim too much, polish too far and you need to start again.

it's a process we all have to go through, and if someone doesn't want to follow that process they won't get far. I don't think hiding that helps anyone, nor does giving them a false sense of achievement. Sometimes the best advice is 'bin it and move on'; if that has to be accompanied by two doses of false praise you will actually be cheating the writer of an honest critique.

Pete_C
October 3rd, 2017, 09:41 AM
Apologies for a second post on this, but thinking about it there is another side to this issue.

I haven't seen many (or any recent) cases where someone posts a 'throwaway' negative or strong critique. There are some very good people in WF, and those that spend time and effort are rarely wrong in their observations. They must think something is worthwhile to spend that time and effort. I don't see 'this sucks' or 'it's crap'. If I really think that and have nothing to add, I just pass it by, and I'm sure others do.

Where there are many 'throwaway' critiques are the 'this is great' or 'love this' comments, which do abound. Often these will follow posted poems that have clear and obvious flaws (I'm not talking personal taste here, but genuine flaws that could easily be corrected). The result is that you see new poets posting numerous poems all with the same issues, and a gaggle of comments telling them how lovely their work is.

What then happens is someone identifies the flaws, and they get snapped at. The poster is hurt by the comments because everyone else - their peers - told them it was great. The outcome is that the person offering an in-depth critique decides to not bother with that poster again, and the original writer goes on to post work with the same issues and never develops.

Interestingly I was looking back at some old posts (trying to remember who was around when I first joined) and saw a few pieces with the same issues that writer has today. Interestingly, they have developed an aggressive attitude to crits and so only gets the 'love this' comments. Has that writer been helped? I would argue not.

Whilst not talking directly about the member that Olly raised, there are some brilliant writers (on here and elsewhere) who rarely post or publish their work. They have their reasons for that. There are also numerous talented writers who have walked away from writing. Again, they have their reasons. If their reasons include not liking crits or honest appraisal of their work, then they probably aren't cut out for writing for public consumption.

In the case Olly referred to, I think she was overwhelmed by receiving critiques and instead of thinking about it and working through the comments and the reasons they were made, and seeing which (if any) worked for her, she tried to change everything at once and the poem was lost and no longer hers. We've all done it and had to learn from it.

If I went to doctor and he said, 'Your finger is infected, it needs cutting off' I think it would be more helpful that, 'you're very handsome, you might have one too many fingers, and I love the way you bake a pig's head pie'.

This place has Mods and Mentors and members aplenty to step in if someone is getting a rough ride, but I don't see that. I do see new writers being given hollow praise they don't need (or often deserve) which doesn't help them to develop. We all need a cuddle every now and again, but is a critique group the right place for it?

It could be argued that removing the 'love this' type comments that include no reasoning or identification of weaknesses would benefit the new writers more than some softly softly platitudes.

Cran
October 5th, 2017, 03:35 AM
>>Pete_C - You might find that many of the throwaway Like/Love/Great comments came from (then) New Members looking to race through their ten post requirements so that they could then post their own creative genius for similar feedback.

We have, at times, tried to curb this type of posting, but for every one we caught, three more turned up.

PiP
October 5th, 2017, 08:06 AM
>>Pete_C - You might find that many of the throwaway Like/Love/Great comments came from (then) New Members looking to race through their ten post requirements so that they could then post their own creative genius for similar feedback.



Sadly, I've seen several meaningless one-liner comments to serious discussions.

Ariel
October 5th, 2017, 12:59 PM
Apologies for a second post on this, but thinking about it there is another side to this issue.

I haven't seen many (or any recent) cases where someone posts a 'throwaway' negative or strong critique. There are some very good people in WF, and those that spend time and effort are rarely wrong in their observations. They must think something is worthwhile to spend that time and effort. I don't see 'this sucks' or 'it's crap'. If I really think that and have nothing to add, I just pass it by, and I'm sure others do.

Where there are many 'throwaway' critiques are the 'this is great' or 'love this' comments, which do abound. Often these will follow posted poems that have clear and obvious flaws (I'm not talking personal taste here, but genuine flaws that could easily be corrected). The result is that you see new poets posting numerous poems all with the same issues, and a gaggle of comments telling them how lovely their work is.

What then happens is someone identifies the flaws, and they get snapped at. The poster is hurt by the comments because everyone else - their peers - told them it was great. The outcome is that the person offering an in-depth critique decides to not bother with that poster again, and the original writer goes on to post work with the same issues and never develops.

Interestingly I was looking back at some old posts (trying to remember who was around when I first joined) and saw a few pieces with the same issues that writer has today. Interestingly, they have developed an aggressive attitude to crits and so only gets the 'love this' comments. Has that writer been helped? I would argue not.

Whilst not talking directly about the member that Olly raised, there are some brilliant writers (on here and elsewhere) who rarely post or publish their work. They have their reasons for that. There are also numerous talented writers who have walked away from writing. Again, they have their reasons. If their reasons include not liking crits or honest appraisal of their work, then they probably aren't cut out for writing for public consumption.

In the case Olly referred to, I think she was overwhelmed by receiving critiques and instead of thinking about it and working through the comments and the reasons they were made, and seeing which (if any) worked for her, she tried to change everything at once and the poem was lost and no longer hers. We've all done it and had to learn from it.

If I went to doctor and he said, 'Your finger is infected, it needs cutting off' I think it would be more helpful that, 'you're very handsome, you might have one too many fingers, and I love the way you bake a pig's head pie'.

This place has Mods and Mentors and members aplenty to step in if someone is getting a rough ride, but I don't see that. I do see new writers being given hollow praise they don't need (or often deserve) which doesn't help them to develop. We all need a cuddle every now and again, but is a critique group the right place for it?

It could be argued that removing the 'love this' type comments that include no reasoning or identification of weaknesses would benefit the new writers more than some softly softly platitudes.

I absolutely agree with this. I find that very often it's certain established poets and writers that receive this kind of critique with exactly that kind of attitude developing from such treatment. It's a large reason why I chose not to be a mentor and a larger part of the reason why I don't critique, post, or comment much.

midnightpoet
October 5th, 2017, 02:27 PM
I'll admit early on I did some "throwaway" comments before I got it through my thick skull that it wasn't helpful to anyone - so I'll give "newbies" benefit of the doubt - for a while. However, I never critique those that as soon as they get 10 posts immediately post 10,000 words of their deathless prose. Often there are people here nice enough to help out those types, even though they may disappear, never to be seen again.

I have discovered that being a judge on the contests here have helped my own prose. The more active you are here, the more you get out of it - and hopefully help others in the process.

PiP
October 5th, 2017, 02:47 PM
Where there are many 'throwaway' critiques are the 'this is great' or 'love this' comments, which do abound. Often these will follow posted poems that have clear and obvious flaws (I'm not talking personal taste here, but genuine flaws that could easily be corrected). The result is that you see new poets posting numerous poems all with the same issues, and a gaggle of comments telling them how lovely their work is.

When I see a member offer a comment such as 'it's great' or enjoyed this' or whatever, I wonder if the OP should reply with 'Why?'. Why is it great? Why do you like it? Which lines do you particularly like of dislike? Not all members can critique so encouraging them to offer their feedback as to why the poem connected with them or not, as a reader is equally valuable. I am not qualified to offer a critical analysis of a poem but I can say what I like/dislike or if something sounds amiss when I read aloud. Maybe we should invite all these one-liner members to a boot camp (aka mentors workshop) and work with them to give them confidence.


What then happens is someone identifies the flaws, and they get snapped at. The poster is hurt by the comments because everyone else - their peers - told them it was great. The outcome is that the person offering an in-depth critique decides to not bother with that poster again, and the original writer goes on to post work with the same issues and never develops.

I think the most difficult part for any writer is to offer up their darling (which can be riddled with errors) and then it is shot down by one honest soul who is prepared to stick their head up above the parapet . The OP, instead of going on the defensive, should don some big girls' bloomers and ask questions and dig deeper. But of course most don't as the great job brigade close ranks.

This makes me wonder if we should keep the workshop for those who value feedback both negative and positive.




... there are some brilliant writers (on here and elsewhere) who rarely post or publish their work. They have their reasons for that. There are also numerous talented writers who have walked away from writing. Again, they have their reasons. If their reasons include not liking crits or honest appraisal of their work, then they probably aren't cut out for writing for public consumption.




This place has Mods and Mentors and members aplenty to step in if someone is getting a rough ride, but I don't see that. I do see new writers being given hollow praise they don't need (or often deserve) which doesn't help them to develop. We all need a cuddle every now and again, but is a critique group the right place for it?

Sometimes it is the TONE of the critique that can come across as aggressive to new poets. Some critters are very direct while others convey the same message but package it differently.

Me, I can't be doing with all the fluff. Just tell me what you like/dislike, errors, rhythm, flow ,,, blah de blah. and cut to the chase. But not everyone is the same. And I think that is wehre th skill of the critter comes into play... thread gently at first ... then gradually cut the fluff.


It could be argued that removing the 'love this' type comments that include no reasoning or identification of weaknesses would benefit the new writers more than some softly softly platitudes

Agree and this point is worth further discussion. Maybe 'fluff bunnies' need policing and sent to a workshop for rehabilitation. No, I am not being sarcastic. As I said above, not everyone knows how to review or critique.


I absolutely agree with this. I find that very often it's certain established poets and writers that receive this kind of critique with exactly that kind of attitude developing from such treatment. It's a large reason why I chose not to be a mentor and a larger part of the reason why I don't critique, post, or comment much.

Yes, and that is why we use the workshops and set an example. AND when a FB leaves a pointless comment they are called on it by the OP. STepping aside just 'because' is not the way forward (IMHO). Lead by example. :)

Pete_C
October 5th, 2017, 03:31 PM
I remember a good few years ago finding a forum that had 3 levels for critique. There was a starter workshop where the fresh meat could play. The critiques were more encouragement and a gentle prod towards the light than proper analysis of the work. Everyone had to spend a certain amount of time there. Then there was a secondary workshop and once you had the required number of posts in the soft play area you could venture in. It was akin to the WF workshop but without the 'love this' comments. Then there was the heavy duty crit section where you were clearly advised not to tread unless you wanted the full works.

There was a rule on no bickering, posters were warned to thank critters and move on if they didn't like it, and fluffy comments were banned.

Mind you, there was no place for poetry 'appreciation' threads, which is seemingly what some crave.

I understand your point of view Ariel, and I also see validity in what PiP is saying.

Interestingly, I was looking for some I saw years ago and I found some poetry threads from a decade ago! Looking back there were some very good writers here, some hard hitting crits too, but also a sense of camaraderie and good natured mutual support which meant that if someone did cop a huff with a crit, they soon got over it.

Firemajic
October 5th, 2017, 04:55 PM
I absolutely agree with this. I find that very often it's certain established poets and writers that receive this kind of critique with exactly that kind of attitude developing from such treatment. It's a large reason why I chose not to be a mentor and a larger part of the reason why I don't critique, post, or comment much.


What a shame... what a shame to lose you as a Mentor... but I understand completely as I am struggling with the same dilemma, and it breaks my heart.. I have lost my passion for poetry. I am still passionate about the poets who truly want to learn... We need ALL hands on deck, something is NOT working here, and we need to step up to the plate and fix this...

PiP
October 5th, 2017, 05:20 PM
. We need ALL hands on deck, something is NOT working here, and we need to step up to the plate and fix this...

Yes, we do. And since stepping up to the plate that's exactly what I've been trying to do by supporting 'can do' positive people who identify different issues and then come to me with suggestions to resolve through discussion.

As I said to a member recently, there will always be asshats and that is out of our control.However, if we just throw up our hands and walk away and not bother to counter their posts and lead by example what are we left with?

The Tavern is a good place where Veterans, Staff and FoWF members can come together to put forward suggestions. Failing that we have a 'feedback' forum.

sas
October 5th, 2017, 06:22 PM
Thank you, Pip, for mentioning Tavern Poetry. How did I miss it?

I noted that I had responded to a poem there, but must have come into group from back door (clicked to see what a connected poet wrote). As I am an acquired taste, that some prefer not to have, I'm thinking The Tavern might be a better fit for me. I've decided to go back to my Detroit, face to face, poetry workshops. They can see my smile there, as opposed to reading it, where, too often, not believed. Smiles. sas

.

PiP
October 5th, 2017, 06:59 PM
SAS, I was not referring to Tavern Poetry as a focal point for discussing suggestions I was referring to the Taverns main board.
https://www.writingforums.com/forums/91-The-Motley-Tavern

sas
October 5th, 2017, 07:13 PM
SAS, I was not referring to Tavern Poetry as a focal point for discussing suggestions I was referring to the Taverns main board.
https://www.writingforums.com/forums/91-The-Motley-Tavern

After your comment, I looked at The Tavern. I see Tavern Poetry as private group to post poetry. Seems a fit for those like me. So, in that respect, I'm glad you mentioned it.

Darkkin
October 5th, 2017, 07:30 PM
One thing that is a bit of a cuckoo among posters are those who offer critique on a regular basis and receive very little on their own work...Few to no replies can leave one wondering is the content just that bad, that boring, or tedious? Not once has anyone attempted to break a piece down. Replies aren't required nor even expected, but all give having nothing to show for the effort can get wearing after a time. One has to wonder is it even worth the effort to bother to post, when one knows there will be no reply even when they have posted for critique...

All the while, the critique provided comes under attack for being true critique, not pandering...Having an original thought, an opinion about a piece can make one something of a pariah among members, no matter the relivance of the observations. It isn't nice or kind or gentle enough. It makes one mean...So on and so forth.

Like Philo's eight-sided inkpot (a gimbal) there are multiple sides to every issue. ;)

Does a lack of response imply a flaw so profound that it permeates a writer's work on a fundamental level? Writing worthy of only binning, no chance at improvement even with comprehensive critique...And if no one says anything, how can repairs and revisions even start?

Probably a witless observation...Just some thoughts.

- D.

Chesters Daughter
October 5th, 2017, 08:03 PM
We need ALL hands on deck, something is NOT working here, and we need to step up to the plate and fix this...

No one is more painfully aware of this than I, and I'm starting to feel as if I'm banging my head against the wall. A good part of what's wrong is the focus on the work is being superseded by the critique itself and the manner in which it is delivered. Even these discussion threads have turned into battlefields, and it seems I'm the only one who is noticing that the arguments are basically the same. A poem is posted, and one, or maybe more, decide they do not like the critique and/or the way it was packaged. So they post a comment on the critique, and then someone else jumps in and then the thread goes off topic because everyone is obsessed about critique again, and the poem is sitting there neglected. We have many eyes on the posts, and anything we don't see immediately should be reported if you feel rules are being broken. We do not allow sour posts to remain. Therefore, these arguments are for naught.

The membership is distinctly divided when it comes to critique, I've said this again and again, and I've pleaded with you all to live and let live. Because you dislike a critique, or the fashion in which it was delivered, doesn't make the critique wrong. Instead of charging into threads on a mission to chastise the poster of the critique you don't agree with, thereby taking the damn thread off topic, concentrate on the work presented for evaluation and counter any points you disagree with with critique of your own. Do not make it personal, do not resume the chase the tail discussion of what critique should or should not be, worry about what you're doing as opposed to what everyone else is doing. Your first and foremost concern should be your personal interaction with the OP. No rules are being broken, and discussion of the work in question is, and always will be, promoted, but the discussions keep turning into bickering which is destroying the atmosphere for everyone. If everyone focused more on the work itself and less on how much they despise the critique that came before, the board will become more harmonious. The best way to combat what you don't agree with is to post critique of your own that refutes what did come before without letting it veer into the personal. Everyone has, and is entitled to share, their own opinion. We have no preschoolers here, no one needs a heroic flock to swoop in on their behalf. Yes, be kind and sensitive to novices, and to one another, but please do not initiate conflict over critique. Agree to disagree and learn to live with the fact that like personalities, styles of critique differ from one individual to another. In the absence of rule or guideline breaches, no one should be getting their panties in a bunch to the extent that it's been happening. The drama needs to cease. You guys are wearing me out with this, it's gotten to the point where I'm almost ready to give up, and I never give up. Don't lose sight of what we're here for, create, share, teach, and accept the lessons offered with grace and dignity. Thank you for your attention.

Firemajic
October 5th, 2017, 08:12 PM
I could not agree with you more, and I will do my very best to be part of the solution... not part of the problem.

aj47
October 5th, 2017, 08:31 PM
Hi .... a few more thoughts ...


Many people here don't like my critiques. I'm not going to engage on this--merely state it as the truth it is.
These members tend to post in each others' threads about my critiques rather than the original work. This is always off-topic but when I was a mod, it was tough because there was a perception that the moderation was personal due to my involvement as a poster. Also there are never enough mods to go around. This meant that I often was the mod-on-duty.
When my life got busy enough I had to cut something, I chose to cut mod duties at WF because of the above. Heck, I even cut posting and critiquing. All moderators, like the rest of the staff here, are volunteers. That means they aren't paid for the grief they get.
The forum is what the membership chooses to make it. Why does the membership-at-large seem to think that only moderators can PM other members and ask them to display better manners? How loud does the neighbor's music have to be before you ask them to turn it down? Or do you always wait for your other neighbor to call the cops?

Cran
October 6th, 2017, 03:35 AM
I'd be happy to see the bar raised (again) in the Workshops; they were, and are, after all, meant to be for works intended for publication. That means works ready to face the scrutiny of potential editors and publishers.

Understandably, more writers believe themselves ready than truly are, and they are the ones most offended when the peer review provides the necessary reality check.

Policing this policy has proved problematic (apologies for the alliteration here) in the past. But if enough established members are solidly behind such a policy, we can make the Workshops a more valuable space for serious writers and reviewers.

The other side of it is that the open creative boards do become the kiddies' pool; feedback lite.

sas
October 6th, 2017, 12:41 PM
Yes, I feel I was snagged in the spider web of open poetry group. Too many are confused about whether it is just a showcase for one's work or a true workshop. I was a confused one. And, new members coming in have no way of knowing workshop comments should be "lite". Nor exactly what "lite" would entail for each poet, especially newcomers. The "idea" of "lite" will not work. It is a hidden, "in-group, secret". A workshop is a workshop. I have solved this personal angst created by no longer making workshop comments there. I do read each poem, and indicate through "like" or "thanks" that I've done so, in acknowledgement of the poet's efforts. Even in closed workshop, I now find myself needing to be selective about just whose poem I can make comments on, even my "like" to another's comment, on their poem, generates a nasty private message. Damn pity, too. I used to feel at home here.

,

Darkkin
October 6th, 2017, 01:11 PM
I post to the open boards for traffic reasons. Members in the workshop know my style, it isn't worth the bother, and my threads are (mercifully) buried within a couple of days. Generally enough time to get an idea of any major structural issues that need attention. The linear construct of the forum matrix allows for fresh perspective and that helps almost as much as an impartial pair of eyes. And as there is a fair bit of crossover between the boards, I don't pull up short on critique for entries on either board...I learn from the critiquing process and that is a tool I'm not going to discard to pander or coddle.

It is a tool, respected and earned. One I have the privilege of having wielded...The practice of the preaching. It is a practice that makes one persona non grata to be an honest voice, but critique is impartial, inherently honest. Rarely what people want or expect to hear. ;)

- D.

Ariel
October 6th, 2017, 02:40 PM
Walking away truly does become the only viable option when one's time is limited. Torn between moderation duties, personal life, and eventually feeling as though nothing one says is heard makes it the easiest and most rewarding option. I can't make other people hear me while doing everything I'm supposed to do? I think we all know how that ends.

Kevin
October 6th, 2017, 03:14 PM
I don't know what people expect. Same as the poster of a piece you get what you get. If you're lucky enough to glean something, great, but I, personally, 'expect' nothing. It is what it is and it can be no reply, no one 'gets' it , someone teaches you something, or ...? I see no reason to take offense. Those are the possible replies, so those should be expected. For me, it's usually no reply. So what? No one is getting paid so no one has to do a thing for me. I don't expect any thank you's or anything. People are busy, or, not inspired , or... whatever. I'm that way, too. Again, so what?

Chesters Daughter
October 6th, 2017, 06:48 PM
Even in closed workshop, I now find myself needing to be selective about just whose poem I can make comments on, even my "like" to another's comment, on their poem, generates a nasty private message.

I find this highly disturbing. If anyone receives a nasty PM regarding critique, please inform me immediately.

I'm going to take a final stab at this. Look at the size of this thread. Now imagine how much beneficial knowledge could have been exchanged on the boards if the effort spent here was instead dispersed there. I don't believe it necessary for me to pursue this particular point any further.

For the sake of everyone's well being, please allow me to make a few further points. If you have a personality clash with another member which cannot be resolved, please put that member on ignore. What you don't see won't incite further unrest. It is a fact of life that certain personalities cannot mix. There has been a great deal of simmering beneath the surface due to personality clashes which ultimately began to rear its ugly head within threads in the recent past. For the most part, it has ceased. Let's keep it that way.

We rely on the fine folks here to do the right thing regarding reciprocity, therefore, we do not enforce obligatory critique. That means no one here is ever pressured to critique a thread. Your time is very valuable, and should not be wasted. That said, if any of the following apply, please just pass over the thread:

If you feel the OP has been previously hostile because you were honest and it's more than likely they will continue to be so.
If you feel the OP plops stuff down everywhere yet never bothers to crit anyone else, or fails to acknowledge your critique with at least a thank you.
If you feel the OP has absolutely no desire to learn and is here only to showcase.
If the OP is a novice, and you find it intolerable to refrain from using advanced terminology which that novice cannot understand. Confusion will always inspire defensiveness and possibly undue hostility.

If you post a thread and receive critique, please treat it with the respect it deserves and consider the following:

Critique is never personal, it is directed at the work, not your ego. If anything does veer into the personal, report it and we'll handle it.
Accepting critique is not mandatory, just because you receive it, you do not have to apply it. Be selective and don't lose sight of your original vision.
If you choose to refute any point made within a critique, do so respectfully and never allow your comments to veer into the personal.
Never mistake honesty for mean spiritedness. Some of us are more blunt than others.
If any portion of a critique confounds you, ask questions, they will be answered.
And finally, always acknowledge the effort others have made with at least a thank you even if you did not warm to what has been said.

Please understand that we are not asking anyone to change their methods of critiquing. Proceed with what you are comfortable with, but please keep the points I've made in mind. We have to collectively find some middle ground so that this critique debate will come to an end. The atmosphere here is much less conducive to learning than it's been in the past. We need to remedy that. How I wish this thread would find its way to the graveyard already, lol. I think.

Thank you for your attention as well as your anticipated consideration.

Olly Buckle
October 7th, 2017, 12:21 AM
Pete, I am not advocating false praise, but as you point out those who give a full on crit must think the writer worth it, so what harm in telling them what you see there that makes it worth it, and then how they could make that even better?

andrewclunn
October 7th, 2017, 06:28 AM
What do I have to do to get these nasty PMs? Perhaps there's a line, and if you're insensitive enough people just assume there's no point trying to please you and are more able to dismiss you as an asshole? Could I have accidentally happened upon some stable point of peak dick along the consideration curve?

clark
October 8th, 2017, 10:46 PM
I've been insulated in the relative calm of Metaphor 3 for almost two years, venturing only occasionally onto the other poetry groups of WF, so this has been a fascinating read. I would say that many of you senior hands have a clear sense of what the problem IS--Pete's post #8 seems a succinct summary of the problems, plus a few viable strategies for dealing with belligerent or indifferent poets--but a solution at the 'policy' level hasn't surfaced. Maybe that's a bit too authoritarian, but it's worth considering. Here's one possibility: a few years ago a young poet asked me to review her critiques. She said she had good insights, but too often for her liking the OP responded negatively. She did offer valuable and helpful insights based mostly on the text--in doing so, she also made some dangerous errors as a critic (or is 'commenter' preferred n WF?):

--she assumed any use of "I" by the poet was literally the poet him/herself, so many of her comments unwittingly drifted into speculation about the poet's values and attitudes
--in the same vein, she frequently used "you" and other indicators of personal possession of content, so she wrote "your moon imagery seems out of place. . ." or "why do you have an extra syllable in L.4?" Critical comments came thru as accusations.

I asked her to erase all second-person usage and to never use the poet's name in her next few critiques. In this particular case, the prohibitions alerted her constantly as she wrote and rooted her critiques much more firmly in the text. She said she got better responses. Poets seemed to pay more attention to what she had to say.

Another suggestion--I totally agree with Pete et al in simply declining to critique poets who come at you aggressively, aren't really reading what you wrote, or manifest the same errors, poem after poem. Try TELLING them in no uncertain terms (my father's favourite phrase), that this will be your last critique until you get some indication of specific response--negative or positive, you do not care--to the time you've spent. No PMs--everybody needs to see you're leaving that field, and why.

I'm just trying to come up with some specific corrective measures that might put wind back in the sails. If these measures don't excite you, I'm sure they could be modified. My point is that we need to DO something, come up with some alternative stuff to DO. DO. DO. DO. DO. Iin addition to better wind, the boat needs a kick in the ass.

How about trying that? Prohibit possessive pronouns and poet's names for, say, a month, then review.

clark
October 9th, 2017, 08:36 AM
I just stumbled over a Meaningful Moment ( the very best kind of 'research') that strikes to the centre of our current problems with critique, both writing them and receiving. I was in LIMELIGHT, and JenthePen was being interviewed. Here's the meaningful moment:

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing?

Jen: I still have to work on getting exactly what I mean into my writing. I think this is why feedback and critique is so important to me because it immediately shows up any ambiguity in my work, when the reader doesn’t ‘get’ what I’m trying to say (red emphasis added).

Jen's frustration just double- underscores the absurdity of what we attempt to do as poets. It's absolute fucking madness, and we all know it. Theseus can talk of "the poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling". . .but it took me years (I'm a dedicated slow learner) to tune into the full impact of the qualifier, 'fine'. That 'fine' is channelling, discipline, purpose, intent--without some sense of all of those, whether deliberate or intuitive, we have. . .only frenzy: inchoate emotion and half-understanding spewing out on the page as emotional sewage. But we bridge the gap between vision and language in a 'fine frenzy' to arrive at an approximation of what we 'saw' or what we hoped to 'record' of that original pre-language insight. Keats' Odes and brilliant scattered notes in the LETTERS are eloquent on the subject, and surely it is that 'failure' of language itself that Prufrock means when he cries out, "It is impossible to say just what I mean!" and later thru the voices of the wandering women-- " "That is not what I meant at all!/That is not it at all!"

We ALL know this pain, this frustration, and we've all faced Jen's question, and her 'answer' in the interview was of course offered honestly. But I dare say she also knows the question is unanswerable in any abiding way. . . and what the hell does all this have to do with critique and the State of the Nation with the Forums? C'mon, relax. . . pour another brandy. I'm getting there. Okay, here it is: I think that often when we get into the gritty of writing a critique we forget that language is the most complex gift mankind possesses, and if the transfer of information in a shopping list is an amazing accomplishment in its own right. . .what adjectives should attach to the most intense use of language known--Poetry? And when we take a sincerely written, deeply flawed, cliché-riddled, mawkish piece of drivel presented by a 19-year-old, we're dealing with the very best he can offer AT THAT TIME IN HIS/HER PROGRESS. Or wayyyyyyy further down that same line, we're looking at a superb piece, but we feel the tense throughout is wrong, we're dealing with the very best that poet has to offer at that time.

I'm talking about respect for this extraordinary process, which we take for granted. Like breathing. Seems to me if we constantly reminded ourselves of the complex process itself, and the commitment it takes to exercise it and actually put it in front of strange eyes for comment, we would be more sensitive re our OWN tone, our OWN suggestions , our OWN expectations, and be more willing to help and to RECEIVE help. Empathy is a great refiner.

As to the poet response--that is just so easy, I'm surprised we're spending so much timer on it. Easy--if after reasonable attempts at getting some kind of response from the poet, none is forthcoming, one warning, then drop him. Post after post that I have read--we have serious poets here, not Hallmark wannabes,

Thank you for your time.

Olly Buckle
October 9th, 2017, 10:40 AM
" Post after post that I have read--we have serious poets here, not Hallmark wannabes,"

I take your points, mainly, Clark, but consider this. Different people have different concepts of success, and 'Hallmark' poets are about the only ones in our society making a living from poetry, some would see that as the (hall) mark of success. As I see it apart from them the only poetry consumed by ordinary people in decent quantities is funny and obvious, like Pam Ayres, desiderata, like Kipling's 'If', or children's stuff, like 'Christopher Robin'. I don't think any of these fit your concept of 'serious'. I am with you on the whole, but sometimes I wonder if it is me that is different, out on a limb.

Okay, we can confine ourselves to preaching to the converted, but it is a 'Poetry' forum, not a 'Serious poetry forum', or any other sort of poetry forum, so everybody has a right to be there, trying and putting forward ideas. If something is pretty terrible (in our eyes) there is little point in telling the poet that, and only that. There is a concept, frequently used, called 'pace, pace, lead'; the idea is that you tell someone two things they can agree with first, then you introduce a new concept, "Pam Ayres is funny and clever, and I love her accent when she reads, but I find there are deeper insights in Prufrock" "Most poems are short, and the concepts in them are often easily accessible, Prufrock is much longer, and although accessible in parts also contains much deeper concepts", "Christopher Robin scans and rhymes beautifully, and brings back memories of what it was to be a child, but Prufrock is about being an adult"

I come from a family of teachers (You might have guessed :) ) and one of their better concepts is that there are no 'bad' pupils, only teachers who have failed in their job to connect. Our members, unlike schoolkids, are here voluntarily, they want to show us what they can do, they start willing. If they are then unable to accept advice I think it is more than possible it is the way the advice is given that is the stumbling block.

Having said that I would agree, it might be much better to back off at that point and leave the game to someone else, as a mentor I might even have pointed someone at them, but I would try to remember an interaction works two ways, and wonder how I could have improved things from my direction to help, rather than simply be ignored or rejected. That upsets me, I will be listened to, so I am going to work on other aspects of communication besides poetry :)

PiP
October 9th, 2017, 11:57 AM
" Post after post that I have read--we have serious poets here, not Hallmark wannabes,"

Please note I am responding as a member and a relatively new (serious) poet. I am not responding in my role as an administrator.

There is a place for everyone on WF.


I take your points, mainly, Clark, but consider this. Different people have different concepts of success, and 'Hallmark' poets are about the only ones in our society making a living from poetry, some would see that as the (hall) mark of success. As I see it apart from them the only poetry consumed by ordinary people in decent quantities is funny and obvious, like Pam Ayres, desiderata, like Kipling's 'If', or children's stuff, like 'Christopher Robin'. I don't think any of these fit your concept of 'serious'. I am with you on the whole, but sometimes I wonder if it is me that is different, out on a limb.

I think this comes down to identifying your target market. Just because your target market is the ordinary reader does not mean you can't strive to write the best poetry you can. I disagree about what ordinary people consume. I consider myself ordinary and I like what I like... it does not mean it has to be all hearts and roses it means a poem connects with me in some way. If I have to extract the meaning of a poem to the point it's like extracting teeth with a toothpick then that poem is not for me.

I love Pam Ayres because her poetry while humorous could also be considered didactic. (a discussion for another day). I appreciate her style but then again I love the work of Dylan Thomas which is totally different.


Okay, we can confine ourselves to preaching to the converted, but it is a 'Poetry' forum, not a 'Serious poetry forum', or any other sort of poetry forum, so everybody has a right to be there, trying and putting forward ideas.


There should be a place for 'serious' poets as opposed to those who want to dump the contents of their hard drive on WF.

We have poets here who never even attempt to offer a review/critique. I know who they are and I wince each time a new member, or those not in the 'know', tries to offer a detailed critique' in terms of suggested improvements only to be met with hostility.

However, there is a case for reviewing how critique/review is delivered. This is a weakness of mine which I recognize and plan to review.

The place for serious poets should be the Workshop. The workshop should be a community of poets (of all levels) who are SERIOUS about improving their work and approach workshopping wearing big girls bloomers as opposed to skimpy g-stings (aka feelings).

When members post to the workshop there is no point in going on the defensive and likewise the critters should also be prepared to stand back and look at their critiquing skills. The workshop is a partnership and as such we should all work together.

'Serious' for me does not mean the cream... it means those who are serious about the craft and want to grow. And if we only have novice poets it's like the blind leading the blind over the edge of a cliff. (sorry no offence intended to the visually impaired)




Having said that I would agree, it might be much better to back off at that point and leave the game to someone else, as a mentor I might even have pointed someone at them, but I would try to remember an interaction works two ways, and wonder how I could have improved things from my direction to help, rather than simply be ignored or rejected. That upsets me, I will be listened to, so I am going to work on other aspects of communication besides poetry :)

Olly, there are some people (such is life) who will never be prepared to accept any sort of feedback on their little darlings except 'that's great'. Fine we have a place for those who want to showcase. Create a WF blog. or if you are not looking for serious critique and don't want to make the effort to work with others post to the open poetry forum. For me it's really that simple.

Olly, on a personal note: Do your remember my first attempt at a Limerick and our first connection - mentor to member? You sent me a polite PM and pointed out the error of my ways. I did not even know what metre was... :)

Darkkin
October 9th, 2017, 02:06 PM
It is probably an inane and flawed perspective, but has anyone stopped and critiqued a poem because of the poem, its content, the writer being a moot point because of the fourth wall...You read a poem and it made you think. And you articulated what you thought. Basis of critique. The author can respond how they please, but the focus is solely on the content and its context, you within the context of critique becoming a default pronoun because most writers, even good ones, do not make a conscious habit of addressing a written voice as 'the narrator'. It is a massive generalization of the reading audience, not any one individual in particular. Like cant terminology, it is a colloquial default. A humanizing, flawed element of informal address, not an accusation within critique, written for the simple purpose of expression one's thoughts on presented content.

Writers make it personal, but sometimes for the reader it can be as simple as: I critiqued it because there is something that can be learned form this situation. Detail and explain. Work shown here...

Olly Buckle
October 9th, 2017, 09:53 PM
Olly, on a personal note: Do your remember my first attempt at a Limerick and our first connection - mentor to member? You sent me a polite PM and pointed out the error of my ways. I did not even know what metre was...
I'm sorry, I don't remember the particular occasion, it is one I set up. Limerick are a super introduction to formal forms of poetry. It is wonderful that working in such a tight set of rules there are so many possibilities, a quality it shares with haiku, and at the same time it is funny and jolly, which gives you the opportunity to show how anapaests give a different feel, and introduce the idea of feet. It gets me started, why not others :)

Yes Darkin, the poem is the point, and the poet is its agent, to influence the poem one must influence the agent, and presumably at least part of the point of commenting on the poem is to help improve any revision, or further composition.

A side issue here, if we do have influence are we potentially stifling creativity by establishing norms? Like an expensive writing course on the back page of a paper that will teach you how to push certain buttons and respond to certain prompts, but not to be creative as it promises?

Generalisations about people are how we work pragmatically, idealy there would be as many categories as there are people, we are all individuals.
There are poets who dump their computer's memory on us, "I lay bare my soul, all 43 pages of it, and you ask if I can punctuate?", and there are serious poets poets, and there are a whole lot more who write poetry sometimes, for a whole host of different reasons, whith a huge range of ability.


Olly, there are some people (such is life) who will never be prepared to accept any sort of feedback on their little darlings except 'that's great'.
I don't believe this, anyone can be influenced if they are approached by the right person in the right way. Making oneself that person and discovering that way is as fascinating as poetry sometimes, sometimes you know you can't win this one, but somebody could. There is a book by Milton Erickson called 'And my voice will go with you' I found inspirational.

Firemajic
October 9th, 2017, 10:50 PM
A side issue here, if we do have influence are we potentially stifling creativity by establishing norms? Like an expensive writing course on the back page of a paper that will teach you how to push certain buttons and respond to certain prompts, but not to be creative as it promises?
.



This is exactly my concern as a mentor... Poetry is organized chaos... and I am not interested in "cookie cutter" poets churning out cookie cutter poetry. My goal has been{ and always will be} to nurture the unique... to help organize the chaos, so the poet keeps THEIR vision, message and voice... a lot of poetry has lost that "something special" ...

PiP
October 9th, 2017, 11:25 PM
This is exactly my concern as a mentor... Poetry is organized chaos... and I am not interested in "cookie cutter" poets churning out cookie cutter poetry. My goal has been{ and always will be} to nurture the unique... to help organize the chaos, so the poet keeps THEIR vision, message and voice... a lot of poetry has lost that "something special" ...


What the poetry forum is organised chaos or poetry in general? :)

What are cookie cutter poets? :scratch: While we are chewing a wasp in this discussion thread on how to mentor and/or how to critique etc etc., there is a poem (https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173828-Female) by a new member, who is also a new poet, which has been ignored (despite this member at least attempting to offer critique on the work of others). Then we have another poet who floods the forum with their poetry yet I see they have made no attempt to critique/review. Thoughts please?

PiP
October 9th, 2017, 11:46 PM
Olly, there are some people (such is life) who will never be prepared to accept any sort of feedback on their little darlings except 'that's great'.
I don't believe this, anyone can be influenced if they are approached by the right person in the right way. Making oneself that person and discovering that way is as fascinating as poetry sometimes, sometimes you know you can't win this one, but somebody could. There is a book by Milton Erickson called 'And my voice will go with you' I found inspirational.

It is an interesting point on mentoring but if someone has special snowflake syndrome is it fair that poet demands so much time? I witnessed this when I was CM. We had mentors giving critiques privately and for what? The member took what they wanted, made no effort to be part of the community or work with others then disappeared. Rinse and repeat...

The Original Post

I've highlighted the key points




- What is the value of a critique? None, if it is ignored, ridiculed, made fun of, and belittled
- But the problem arises when real constructive, helpful critique and comments are offered.... wow, it is time to kill the messenger! Seriously... and the very ones who cant take constructive comments are the same ones WHO DISH IT OUT!

- to keep the feathers from getting ruffled and precious, empty egos intact, should the critique be modified to fit and cater to the ego....

- What value is there in empty praise like "GOOD JOB!! "I enjoyed your poem! Is that what the poetry thread is all about? Is that the direction we are to take?

- Are the Mentors being muzzled.... I think so...

- What happened to the serious poet, who welcomes a strong critique...
- read the poetry thread, and tell me, where THAT poet went....

After pages of discussion, Juls, are you any wiser? Have your concerns been addressed or do you feel more frustrated?

Darkkin
October 9th, 2017, 11:47 PM
What the poetry forum is organised chaos or poetry in general? :)

What are cookie cutter poets? :scratch: While we are chewing a wasp in this discussion thread on how to mentor and/or how to critique etc etc., there is a poem (https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173828-Female) by a new member, who is also a new poet, which has been ignored (despite this member at least attempting to offer critique on the work of others). Then we have another poet who floods the forum with their poetry yet I see no attempt to critique/review. Thoughts please?

This one is on my docket for critique...I just haven't had time, (too many hours at the bookstore.) Hopefully I can get something up later tonight.

Firemajic
October 9th, 2017, 11:53 PM
What the poetry forum is organised chaos or poetry in general? :)

What are cookie cutter poets? :scratch: While we are chewing a wasp in this discussion thread on how to mentor and/or how to critique etc etc., there is a poem (https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173828-Female) by a new member, who is also a new poet, which has been ignored (despite this member at least attempting to offer critique on the work of others). Then we have another poet who floods the forum with their poetry yet I see no attempt to critique/review. Thoughts please?



Well, PiP, I commented on a comment Olly made, one that does have something to do with critique....;)

I was talking about poetry as being "organized chaos", not the poetry thread...

I will be happy to discuss the poetry thread with you in a PM or n the mentors coffee table ;)


Cookie cutter poets with cookie cutter poetry is "generic" poetry... and I meant in general, not necessarily here, at WF, but in general.... I read a LOT of poetry....;)

Firemajic
October 9th, 2017, 11:59 PM
It is an interesting point on mentoring but if someone has special snowflake syndrome is it fair that poet demands so much time? I witnessed this when I was CM. We had mentors giving critiques privately and for what? The member took what they wanted, made no effort to be part of the community or work with others then disappeared. Rinse and repeat...

The Original Post

I've highlighted the key points



After pages of discussion, Juls, are you any wiser? Have your concerns been addressed or do you feel more frustrated?



Wiser?[ LMAO.]... no.... frustrated? No, I found all the comments helpful....

PiP
October 10th, 2017, 12:00 AM
Cookie cutter poets with cookie cutter poetry is "generic" poetry... and I meant in general, not necessarily here, at WF, but in general....

Ah, okay. :)


I read a LOT of poetry....;)

Yes, I love reading your daily dose of inspiration. You choose some good poetry :)

PiP
October 10th, 2017, 12:05 AM
Wiser?[ LMAO.]... no.... frustrated? No, I found all the comments helpful....

Laughing... I was typing away ... then thought... what was Jul's original post? HAve we covered her questions? You know how us poets like to have a good natter :)

Firemajic
October 10th, 2017, 12:10 AM
Laughing... I was typing away ... then thought... what was Jul's original post? HAve we covered her questions? You know how us poets like to have a good natter :)


yeah, ;)

midnightpoet
October 10th, 2017, 12:27 AM
Back when I first started here, I put a lot of poetry on the "poetry" thread but finally realized if I wanted anything published I need to go to workshop (sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake). Any more when I use "poetry" I'm doing it just for fun and don't expect feedback and often say it's "for fun."
If someone wants to critique, whatever. I critique when I can, usually a poem that really impresses me but I still may see flaws. I've always tried to maintain a professional, respectful attitude, and hope more poets and writers take a good look at themselves and realize that a little humility goes a long way.

Firemajic
October 10th, 2017, 12:39 AM
Back when I first started here, I put a lot of poetry on the "poetry" thread but finally realized if I wanted anything published I need to go to workshop (sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake). Any more when I use "poetry" I'm doing it just for fun and don't expect feedback and often say it's "for fun."
If someone wants to critique, whatever. I critique when I can, usually a poem that really impresses me but I still may see flaws. I've always tried to maintain a professional, respectful attitude, and hope more poets and writers take a good look at themselves and realize that a little humility goes a long way.


I post my work in the poetry thread because, before I became a member, I was a stalker....ummm.... lurker.. and I learned a lot from reading the critiques and comments there, as a stalker/ visitor, I could not see the workshop.... so I always hope that a visitor will find something of value and maybe inspiration.... then that might encourage them to become a member... ;) hopefully...

dannyboy
October 10th, 2017, 05:34 AM
I always appreciate any feedback - even none, and know I am the worst at not offering anything back - I try, often but halfway through a critique I start critiquing my critique and, lets just say the shambles builds so quickly I end up deleting the whole thing. I'm happy for everyone to ignore my poems, and so do not post in the workshop section (at least I hope I am not - please correct me if I've fucked that up) I post to remind myself to rework things, to edit and edit again - i often only see the flaws after posting - so I post - and wen i do get critiques it is always valuable - especially when my first reaction is 'what the fuck would you know' that's when I most must (lets just call that alliteration shall we) listen to the critique and rework the very areas I'm upset about - even if that means reworking them back to the original state.

I guess I'm trying to say the reason I post has significantly changed – I know that may piss some off because I rarely give feedback, I will try to (and then I'll disappear again as I usually do) but can I just thank everyone who has ever given and not given me feedback. I do love this place - it's been brilliant for me over many, many years.

So thanks, I apologize and for those of you who carry the bulk of the load in all sorts of ways - you are doing fantastic work.

Olly Buckle
October 10th, 2017, 08:49 AM
dannyboy, I am sure you are serious, I only 'LOL' because you remind me of the remark attributed to Oscar Wilde about "spending the morning taking out a comma, then spending the afternoon putting it back".

Your postdoes make the point that those who write good and serious poetry may not be those who are best at crit. the two are different disciplines, and it may not be fair to judge on what people have not produced rather than on what they have. I can also imagine a bad poet who writes long and serious crit, which is totally irrelevant, I hope that is not me;
See the happy moron
He doesn't give a damn
I wish I were a moron
My God, perhaps I am. :)

we always encourage people to give crit, especially beginners, and it is valuable for them in that they learn to look critically at things, but is it useful to the poet?

dannyboy
October 10th, 2017, 09:00 AM
exactly also I do struggle to crit without a glass of red in my hand....

Olly Buckle
October 10th, 2017, 11:47 PM
It may be that someone gives valuable crit that is ignored by an arrogant arsehole, sorry, 'special snowflake', more fool him, he has lost a chance to learn, but there will be others reading the thread who may well profit from his missed lesson.

I would agree with PiP it is foolish giving crit by pm, not only is it depriving others of the chance to learn from it, the person giving it may be missing something important, or even be completely wrong, and no-one will know or pick them up on it. Let's keep it out there and up front. There is also a little devil in me that wants to suggest you can not edit the first post of a thread, make them think and check before they post, and stop them editing it away if they don't like the comments, let's us go on talking about it even if they don't want to hearhttps://www.writingforums.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif

Edit, that didn't work, imagine a little devil smiley at the end.

sas
October 11th, 2017, 12:43 PM
Gosh, Danny, I guess I must ask, "If your neighbor noticed a fire next to your house, would you expect him to tell you? Probably. You'd be damn grateful, too. (as you are here). But, you'd give yourself a pass ,if his was burning down, and go on your way?"

You are one of the reasons I no longer workshop in Poetry group. I just can't sort out and keep track of who wants workshop efforts; who gets offended by them; and, who is a user. Pick one.

I'd prefer that when you post (and, I like your work) you would say that workshop isn't expected on it. I have done exactly that on certain of my posted poems. I don't want anyone wasting their talent and efforts, on something I have no intention of changing, and am only sharing it. I no longer do that either.

For me, this is a family. In all families everyone, except young children, do something to help. That's what adults do.

Yes, I've a prickly side.

Olly Buckle
October 11th, 2017, 09:09 PM
For me, this is a family. In all families everyone, except young children, do something to help. That's what adults do.
Can't we count posting beautiful poems? Danny was one of the reasons I joined wf in the first place. Though I have barely commented on his poetry I have had a lot of pleasure from it. Yes I have a selfish side ;)

sas
October 11th, 2017, 09:56 PM
Can't we count posting beautiful poems? Danny was one of the reasons I joined wf in the first place. Though I have barely commented on his poetry I have had a lot of pleasure from it. Yes I have a selfish side ;)

Danny could start his own blog. Or, as I suggested, just say he isn't participating in workshop efforts. I have done that on particular poems I've posted. I guess I see it differently. Using others without giving back. A new member (last name starts with Von) just spent a great deal of time making excellent suggestions on Danny's last post. So, when the new member posts his work, Danny gets a pass and can just hit "thanks" to show his undying appreciation. Fudge.

andrewclunn
October 11th, 2017, 10:30 PM
So you're saying that we shouldn't use the "LOL" button as a mean-spirited response to work that wasn't meant to be funny?

Kevin
October 11th, 2017, 10:50 PM
This isn't life or death. There's no fire. Given the choice between communism and anarchy I'll always choose the latter. Not chaos mind you, but free expression and/or the right to not express. Family? You know that my way or the highway doesn't fly with me. You can choose to like it or lump it but until the admins set it down in stone, I ain't doin it.

Firemajic
October 11th, 2017, 10:59 PM
Well, we ARE a writing "community".... what is a community, and how does it function? Google it, I did... I am here to learn, to participate, to give and yes, to take... and when I log in, I want to give my best.... and when I log out, I like to think my time was well spent....

Darkkin
October 11th, 2017, 11:09 PM
Can't we count posting beautiful poems?


Looks like I might need to find a new pond to haunt as I don't offer even that much...;)

Olly Buckle
October 11th, 2017, 11:26 PM
Looks like I might need to find a new pond to haunt as I don't offer even that much...;)

Leave it out :) Seriously, people like you and Danny I would hesitate to crit anyway. Sometimes I might spot what is a specific point, but generally what I could say would probably not be very useful, and being useful is the main point for me.
It takes all sorts to make a world, and I am quite happy if some people choose to be unpleasant to me. Generally I ignore them, but then I have the luxury of not being staff any more, it can colour one's thinking ;)

sas
October 11th, 2017, 11:33 PM
Well, color (colour) me on the side of equity.

Olly Buckle
October 11th, 2017, 11:49 PM
Well, color (colour) me on the side of equity.

It has its points, I am biased toward the long term good of the forum. Not at odds with equity.

clark
October 15th, 2017, 12:48 AM
Well, I have a practical side--I have no idea how in hell this happened-- but in four days I'll be 80 years old, and no matter how much I love writing poetry and talking about poetry, damned if I'll waste precious time writing anything about a poem whose author has previously indicated no interest, or arrogant response to what I have to say. I wrote an extensive critique on a poem in a LinkedIn group, a critique that included a couple of key questions for the poet to consider. Her response was to tick "thanks". Later, she sent me an indignant note that I was commenting on other poets' work, but no longer commented on hers. Now that takes balls. But I'm not interested. I couldn't care less if a poet concurs with my opinions, but I do care about dialogue. That's what these forums should be about. Even if you are in awe and write a few lines of untinting praise, you can indicate those aspects of the piece you found especially noteworthy, and why. Isolating those aspects opens discussion with the poet, who may have found some of them weak him/herself, and is surprised. A conversation starts. Others join in. At the other end of the scale--quite unusual on these boards--if a 'poem' is, to you, little more than scattered notes looking for some sort of form or substance, and you choose to comment, you have an obligation to find a courteous way of telling it like it is, even to a neophyte. Death to the one-liners! LinkedIn and Hubpages and other host-sites are full of groups that caress and fondle each others' hackneyed drivel like Sacred Text. Olly reminded us that all poetry is 'good', we can't all be 'serious', there is indeed a place in the full orchestra of Poetry for the dude that tinkles the triangle twice in a two-hour concerto. Of course there is. I'm just not interested. I'm passionately interested, though, in the kids who make all sorts of errors as they screech and saw cacophonous cat-wails on their violins. . .but you feel and occasionally hear the crackle of the fires in their bellies to become lead violin. And I'm passionately interested in all the players between there and lead violin. That's what I mean by "serious", Olly, because, as Marvel puts it so simply, ". . .at my back I always hear/Time's wing-ed chariot hurrying near. "Gotta stay ahead of that bastard, Olly, and I wanna do it doin' the stuff I wanna do. Milton called it "enlightened self-interest"! Cheers to all. . . .

Firemajic
October 15th, 2017, 04:45 PM
I agree, Clark... time is precious and should not be wasted on those who have no intention of actually working to improve their skill, or those who use the fabulous poetry thread as a poetry dump...

I also agree that ALL aspects of a poem should be addressed...positive comments are vital, as you said.. it gives the poet a "jumping off" point, and is valuable in the editing process... ;)

Nellie
October 15th, 2017, 05:40 PM
Clark, Here is wishing you an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Time does fly.....
Thanks for your inspirational words and poetry!

Robbie
October 17th, 2017, 07:43 PM
Humility is key. However, it seems it’s the moment we think we have achieved it - that we lose it.