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urbandekay
November 5th, 2017, 08:29 PM
I have read much of the criticism of poems here and discussion thereof and have to say some of it, is so much bunk!

Poetry is bewitchment, enchantment and attempts to critique it line by line or complain because it fits not into some formula, miss the point.

Like all artistic endeavours, there is not good or bad, right or wrong. Either it works for you personally or it doesn't

TL Murphy
November 6th, 2017, 07:21 AM
That’s a very narrow view of the creative process, Urbanderkay, because some of us here wish to improve our craft through sharing ideas. There is a great wealth of knowledge and experience in the community that participates in these threads and we all stand to benefit from sharing our views and experience. While it is true that some are impaired by rigid egos, that does not take away from the fact that being open to critique can greatly accelerate ones learning curve. Learning how to give and take critique in a possitive way is something that can be challenging and I think most here are aware that it benefits all to give and receive in an honest and civil manner. But critique is not helpful if it only accommodates an artist’s desire for attention or praise. Nor does an artist benefit by resisting advice. A writer needs to have a thick skin if he wants to write about what’s real because there are a lot of forces out there that will fight him at every turn when they don’t want reality to be revealed. So, it is very good training for a writer to put her work up for scrutiny and she must be prepared to grapple with the ripples it causes. But it’s important to remember that you can always ignore what doesn’t meet your needs. There is no benefit in being offended. Nobody is holding a gun to your head.

urbandekay
November 7th, 2017, 11:22 PM
That’s a very narrow view of the creative process, Urbanderkay, because some of us here wish to improve our craft through sharing ideas. There is a great wealth of knowledge and experience in the community that participates in these threads and we all stand to benefit from sharing our views and experience. While it is true that some are impaired by rigid egos, that does not take away from the fact that being open to critique can greatly accelerate ones learning curve. Learning how to give and take critique in a possitive way is something that can be challenging and I think most here are aware that it benefits all to give and receive in an honest and civil manner. But critique is not helpful if it only accommodates an artist’s desire for attention or praise. Nor does an artist benefit by resisting advice. A writer needs to have a thick skin if he wants to write about what’s real because there are a lot of forces out there that will fight him at every turn when they don’t want reality to be revealed. So, it is very good training for a writer to put her work up for scrutiny and she must be prepared to grapple with the ripples it causes. But it’s important to remember that you can always ignore what doesn’t meet your needs. There is no benefit in being offended. Nobody is holding a gun to your head.

Yes, I agree very much, perhaps I have given the wrong impression, in what I have written. I did not seek to dismiss the value of criticism but rather to make clear that poetry, being of a particular nature, requires a different kind of criticism. Indeed, I have rewritten a poem and posted same due to a criticism by your very self only the other day. So, how to make clearer what exactly I intend, on that I will ponder

dannyboy
November 9th, 2017, 11:19 AM
I think I understand what you're saying,

I'll put it this way.

I like a critique that responds (positive/negative/indifferent) to the poem as a whole but regardless of that response to the poem as an entire piece, the line by line/stanza by stanza, insights/suggestions/questions zero down into the most important aspect of poetry - each word chosen should be the correct word. It is up to me as a writer to accept and change or to understand the question but decide I have it right

the best part in all this is that sometimes the critique is wrong but in the asking highlights for me a way I can improve the word choice/structure etc - in which case the critique has done its job (and so is not wrong at all).

VonBradstein
November 9th, 2017, 12:41 PM
I have read much of the criticism of poems here and discussion thereof and have to say some of it, is so much bunk!

Poetry is bewitchment, enchantment and attempts to critique it line by line or complain because it fits not into some formula, miss the point.

Like all artistic endeavours, there is not good or bad, right or wrong. Either it works for you personally or it doesn't

With all due respect, this is the kind of attitude that gets you nowhere.

First: Nobody is forcing your or anybody else to post work nor to listen to critique when you do.


Second: There are such things as good or bad and right and wrong. Spelling can be wrong. Grammar can be wrong. Referring to an apple when clearly the correct word for what you are speaking of would be banana... is wrong. So your hypothesis fails right there.

Yes a lot of what is beyond those basics is entirely subjective. That is part of the beauty of it all. Yes there are people on this forum and others that approach things arrogantly or negatively (I’ve had my run ins with such characters) but advice is a precious thing and for the most part I️ believe it is given in good faith. There are also trends in readership, established expectations in the industry, and various other components that define what is good or bad.

Again, nobody is forcing anybody to listen or agree.

Peace.

Darkkin
November 9th, 2017, 03:29 PM
Knowing the difference between criticism and critique is a key point that seems to have been missed...Criticism is personal, not designed to help in any way, shape, or form. Critique offers perspective for consideration and the why behind the perspective. The root of the word stemming from the process of critical thinking...

And not all poems are created equal, there will be and are bad poems, there will be and are execptional poems, as well, especially given the fact that people themselves run the gamut and creative expression is a reflection of the human experience.

Admitting the possibility that a poem can potentially be bad opens possibilities, establishes borders within realities. And a bit of reality is requisite in the creative process. By saying all art is subjective is true to a certain extent, but the why, the logic and reasoning behind the observations is what carries the actual weight. No reasoning, then it fits the OPs criteria. But if fault cannot be found with the logic than the probability of a piece being 'bad' enters the realm of possibility. Someone can have the most wonderful idea in the world, but if execution is jackshit, then please quantify how that does not define 'bad'. Translation and execution. This is where honesty can hurt, and reality stares the individual in the face. Should a reader lie and pander to an ego? Thus defeating the entire purpose of critique and breach the fourth wall all at the same time...

As a reader, I look for the foundations. I find them, my opinion of a pieces goes up. The writer has taken time to establish them...No foundations, well, look to the basics amd establish a few. If the writing cannot stand on its own merit, it is an issue that needs to be addressed. It is truly that simple. Foundations mark the difference between good and bad writing because they are the basis of the process of realisation. An idea into a physical embodiment.

An idea may have merit, but execution of the idea is what the reader, in this instance, receives. And it is the execution wherein technical merit and logic rest, along with the practical application of critique.

Criticism does not have these foundations.

Just like with swimming, some can barely dog paddle, while others are approaching Olympic class. What is the difference? Fundamentals and practice. Don't penalise those who have taken the time to perfect their strokes. They started with dog paddle, but they kept at it.

Not all writing is created equal, nor are all writers. Breed standards exist for a reason and cannot be denied. So why does it exist if all writing (poetry) is special in its own right? (My own dog is a mix breed, but I know his roots...). Knowledge is there to be used. It doesn't limit the process, merely gives it structure. No bones, no shape, and all one is stuck with is a pool of goo and that is about as original as a puddle on the sidewalk.

Yet look at a puddle, the nature of water itself, it conforms to the structures around it, flows and adapts to its surroundings. Ice shatters because of a fixed and unbending perspective...Is knowledge such a bad thing? For the ego maybe, but for an open mind it is a path to anywhere.

- D.

VonBradstein
November 9th, 2017, 05:06 PM
Knowing the difference between criticism and critique is a key point that seems to have been missed...Criticism is personal, not designed to help in any way, shape, or form. Critique offers perspective for consideration and the why behind the perspective. The root of the word stemming from the process of critical thinking...

And not all poems are created equal, there will be and are bad poems, there will be and are execptional poems, as well, especially given the fact that people themselves run the gamut and creative expression is a reflection of the human experience.

Admitting the possibility that a poem can potentially be bad opens possibilities, establishes borders within realities. And a bit of reality is requisite in the creative process. By saying all art is subjective is true to a certain extent, but the why, the logic and reasoning behind the observations is what carries the actual weight. No reasoning, then it fits the OPs criteria. But if fault cannot be found with the logic than the probability of a piece being 'bad' enters the realm of possibility. Someone can have the most wonderful idea in the world, but if execution is jackshit, then please quantify how that does not define 'bad'. Translation and execution. This is where honesty can hurt, and reality stares the individual in the face. Should a reader lie and pander to an ego? Thus defeating the entire purpose of critique and breach the fourth wall all at the same time...

As a reader, I look for the foundations. I find them, my opinion of a pieces goes up. The writer has taken time to establish them...No foundations, well, look to the basics amd establish a few. If the writing cannot stand on its own merit, it is an issue that needs to be addressed. It is truly that simple. Foundations mark the difference between good and bad writing because they are the basis of the process of realisation. An idea into a physical embodiment.

An idea may have merit, but execution of the idea is what the reader, in this instance, receives. And it is the execution wherein technical merit and logic rest, along with the practical application of critique.

Criticism does not have these foundations.

Just like with swimming, some can barely dog paddle, while others are approaching Olympic class. What is the difference? Fundamentals and practice. Don't penalise those who have taken the time to perfect their strokes. They started with dog paddle, but they kept at it.

Not all writing is created equal, nor are all writers. Breed standards exist for a reason and cannot be denied. So why does it exist if all writing (poetry) is special in its own right? (My own dog is a mix breed, but I know his roots...). Knowledge is there to be used. It doesn't limit the process, merely gives it structure. No bones, no shape, and all one is stuck with is a pool of goo and that is about as original as a puddle on the sidewalk.

Yet look at a puddle, the nature of water itself, it conforms to the structures around it, flows and adapts to its surroundings. Ice shatters because of a fixed and unbending perspective...Is knowledge such a bad thing? For the ego maybe, but for an open mind it is a path to anywhere.

- D.

Darkkin,

You are precisely correct in terms of overall sentiment, however I️ have to take issue - the word criticism does not necessarily mean personal. That just isn’t so.

The actual definition (Merriam Webster) is “the art of evaluating or analyzing works of art or literature” which IS what we do on here and would make it exactly synonymous with “critiquing”. Just want to make sure we aren’t misusing words.

Which needless to say renders the OPs complaint further discredited.

VonBradstein
November 9th, 2017, 05:13 PM
Also, I️ gotta say I️ am immensely privileged when anybody bothers giving me a line by line critique. That takes a crazy amount of time and effort and the idea anybody could find that “bunk” regardless of whether they agree with it is kind of tragic.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Darkkin
November 9th, 2017, 05:31 PM
If one takes the provided definition into account it is concise. Critique is the active process of the word when applied to a creative medium. Criticism, when viewed in a non-creative capacity is viewed as a wholly negative response to an individual. e.g. A parent's criticism of a child's actions. It is the layman's context that seemed most prevalent in the OP, thus my issue with the use of criticism as nought but a tool used to flay, not as a tool to build.

Criticism equated to a complaint and not a detailed process of analysis. Criticism equated more to a complaint of criticising. To find censure or fault with. The OP essentially coming down to the sum of: Read it, praise it. Do not dare to have an original thought about that which was read. To think about it is to miss the point...Bullshit.

To consider why one likes something or why one doesn't helps one to understand the creative process and the preceptions of the audience. Reading and writing are both active processes, one impacting the other. If the writing was meh...Consider why it was meh. Was it voice, subject matter, indifferent construction? What...

Just like a recipe one can really like a dish with the exception of a certain spice. The parts will effect the whole and if a piece crumbles under line by line then indicators are there is fault with the foundations.

VonBradstein
November 9th, 2017, 06:04 PM
If one takes the provided definition into account it is concise. Critique is the active process of the word when applied to a creative medium. Criticism, when viewed in a non-creative capacity is viewed as a wholly negative response to an individual. e.g. A parent's criticism of a child's actions. It is the layman's context that seemed most prevalent in the OP, thus my issue with the use of criticism as nought but a tool used to flay, not as a tool to build.

Criticism equated to a complaint and not a detailed process of analysis. Criticism equated more to a complaint of criticising. To find censure or fault with. The OP essentially coming down to the sum of: Read it, praise it. Do not dare to have an original thought about that which was read. To think about it is to miss the point...Bullshit.

To consider why one likes something or why one doesn't helps one to understand the creative process and the preceptions of the audience. Reading and writing are both active processes, one impacting the other. If the writing was meh...Consider why it was meh. Was it voice, subject matter, indifferent construction? What...

Just like a recipe one can really like a dish with the exception of a certain spice.

Hmm, okay gotcha.

I️ will say though that sometimes there is nothing whatsoever good to say about something. Rare, and I️ try, but it does happen. One thing I️ don’t do myself is try to offer suggestions/encouragement/recommendations to work I️ see as fundamentally or irredeemably flawed. It is possible for work to fail on all accounts - technique, voice, grammar, and subject matter/point. In such cases I️ will say that a critique intended to be subjective may frequently be difficult to differentiate from a straight up trashing. Because if you write a badly executed, barely comprehensible essay on the virtues on eating babies I’m not gonna respect your work. Not that I️ have yet to encounter anything quite of that magnitude.

That said, there’s always the option of silent shunning. But then comes the question of whether the reader/potential critic has the moral obligation to speak out against bad writing (with nothing constructive to say) or let it go and if silence can be construed as tacit approval. Kind of an ethical question more than a writing one I️ guess. Personally if my work is trash I️ think I️ would like to be told.

Darkkin
November 9th, 2017, 06:12 PM
Kindness vs. Honesty...:nonchalance: There is a whole thread on that prickly subject in Writing Discussions. Honesty, while it can sting, tends to be my prevailing policy. And as you said, cases of irreparably poor writing are few and fair between.

VonBradstein
November 9th, 2017, 06:17 PM
Kindness vs. Honesty...:nonchalance: There is a whole thread on that prickly subject in Writing Discussions. Honesty, while it can sting, tends to be my prevailing policy. And as you said, cases of irreparably poor writing are few and fair between.

Yeah, I️ started that thread [emoji846]

LeeC
November 9th, 2017, 10:24 PM
If one considers the OP without the bias of precept, therein lies fleeting insight camouflaged in the manner of articulation. We are a subjective lot, expending considerable effort in pigeonholing with dogmatic categorization. Such can be beneficial in evolving more concise communication (that 'tree' is a 'Bur Oak'), but also, more in the arts, writing in this case, such can be fodder for experimentation by imaginative practitioners. Experimentation in turn may result in new or redefined dogma.

Thus, to me, a poetic effort is recognized as 'poetry' by an author relative to intent, and by a reader relative to a varying mix of dogma, breadth of perception, and subjective impact. So, unless an author is attempting to be constrained by some current dogma, critiques are often little more than individual 'takes.' In turn, how useful reader's 'takes' are is dependent on an author's consideration.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

Darkkin
November 10th, 2017, 12:59 AM
Poets can do anything they want with poetry. There is no concrete method. There are known recipes (classic forms, elements such as rhyme and metre, assonance and so forth). What bothers me is that readers are faulted for voicing a thought that does not coincide with an author's vision. It is an observation, not gospel. It doesn't make it bunk.

VonBradstein
November 10th, 2017, 05:08 AM
If one considers the OP without the bias of precept, therein lies fleeting insight camouflaged in the manner of articulation. We are a subjective lot, expending considerable effort in pigeonholing with dogmatic categorization. Such can be beneficial in evolving more concise communication (that 'tree' is a 'Bur Oak'), but also, more in the arts, writing in this case, such can be fodder for experimentation by imaginative practitioners. Experimentation in turn may result in new or redefined dogma.

Thus, to me, a poetic effort is recognized as 'poetry' by an author relative to intent, and by a reader relative to a varying mix of dogma, breadth of perception, and subjective impact. So, unless an author is attempting to be constrained by some current dogma, critiques are often little more than individual 'takes.' In turn, how useful reader's 'takes' are is dependent on an author's consideration.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein


Poets can do anything they want with poetry. There is no concrete method. There are known recipes (classic forms, elements such as rhyme and metre, assonance and so forth). What bothers me is that readers are faulted for voicing a thought that does not coincide with an author's vision. It is an observation, not gospel. It doesn't make it bunk.

Having re-read, I think the big problem here is that the OP really made two complaints, one of which is valid and the other of which is total crap. He then committed the cardinal sin of forcing two totally different issues into one.

- The valid: That criticism is sometimes (actually, quite often) garbage and, worse still, malevolent garbage posted for the benefit of the critic not the writer nor reader. I see a lot of this on here. Actually, it has made me reconsider remaining active on the forum more than once in the last few days. I enjoy a bit of an argument and don't hold back, but there is a massive difference between being brutally honest and an egregious nitpicker. The belittling of those who have the courage to share work - especially if they are newer or if English is not their first language - drives me nutty. It's ironic to me that many of those who engage in that sort of thing do not often post their own stuff. Kind of telling.

- The not valid: The assertion that criticism (or critique, whatever) is not relevant, that there should be some kind of line drawn between what is ok to criticize and what is not, that an opinion well-voiced can yet be bunk simply for riling the sacred cow of ego. That is ridiculous and an insult to all those who try to help.

Darkkin
November 10th, 2017, 02:10 PM
The thing about line by line critique, far from missing the point or getting off track with noncorollary info dumps (discussions that should be in the discussion forum, not a critique thread), it keeps attention focused on the work itself. Lines are held accountable, as are words and context. The sum of the whole and the individual parts. Look at A, (work submitted), it seems like such and such to reader X. Was this the author's intent? Seems akin to B, (example B). Look at A and B. Consider how they are similar and unique. What works, what doesn't, and why.

Pretty rudimentary. How is something like that bunk? It is linear reasoning and a heck of a lot of work.

One begins to wonder, why bother critiquing at all if all it amounts to is drama and ego. Talk about wasted effort...When thinking is an affront to an artist's sensibilities, then art has ceased to function. As the core of creativity is thought.

Kevin
November 11th, 2017, 06:37 PM
Darkin-I think even if the particular receiver of the critique doesn't appreciate it , the critique exchange still serves as learning experience for the rest of those that view said exchanges. Personally, even if I don't agree with whatever has been said I will still take whatever statement and question if it is valid or applicable.

VonBradstein
November 12th, 2017, 03:47 AM
It's not that complicated, IMO. If the critique seems invalid the professional thing to do is thank the critic for their time, smile and move on. If the critique verges on abuse, report it, smile and move on. Inadequate, incoherent or impolite critique reflects much more poorly on the critic than the author or the piece in question - at least that is my impression when I read it. If its simply a case of people not liking it when others don't care for their work, they are not writers but children who have traded crayons for computers.

Firemajic
November 26th, 2017, 07:03 PM
I have read much of the criticism of poems here and discussion thereof and have to say some of it, is so much bunk!

Poetry is bewitchment, enchantment and attempts to critique it line by line or complain because it fits not into some formula, miss the point.

Like all artistic endeavours, there is not good or bad, right or wrong.****** Either it works for you personally or it doesn't ********


BAM!!!!! WHOOOOOHOOOO... right.... either it works for me personally...or it doesn't ! And THAT is WHY we offer critique... it , for the most part [ except for spelling and grammar] is the reader's personal opinion... and therefore NOT bunk ;)
A good critique addresses the GOOD and says why a phrase woks for them. A good critique addresses the "BAD" and why it does not work for them...

Poetry IS all those things you said... ;) bewitchment and enchantment... and you are sorta right about the right and wrong, good and bad.... but there are many levels of skill and artistry.... read as much poetry as you can and soon you will see the difference between a poorly crafted poem and a skilled one...