View Full Version : What is the goal of critique?

TL Murphy
December 4th, 2017, 05:10 AM
Are we here to congratulate emotional intelligence? Or are we here to raise the art of poetry? What is the difference?

December 4th, 2017, 09:13 AM
I always took the goal of critique as to sharpen your notice skills. See what works and what doesn't. And learn to understand and articulate why.

Phil Istine
December 4th, 2017, 09:59 AM
I assume the goal is for all parties to improve their poetry - both the people giving critique and those receiving it.

December 4th, 2017, 12:20 PM
Ok, must be dull witted today. What do you mean by: congratulate emotional intelligence

I save that for bloggers. Lately, there's a dearth of it by one. Don't know how it applies to poetry critique. Hmmm.

December 4th, 2017, 01:26 PM
the goal of critique is between the posts...

December 4th, 2017, 02:37 PM
Actually, I selfishly learn by analyzing another's work. I learn nothing from my own. So, in honesty, that's my only goal.

December 4th, 2017, 02:44 PM
Are we here to congratulate emotional intelligence? Or are we here to raise the art of poetry? What is the difference?

I don't understand what you mean by "congratulate emotional intelligence"....

December 4th, 2017, 03:41 PM
Chuck the following reasons in the air, and in whatever order they fall, that will be a valid answer:

To help those being critiqued learn - To learn from those being critiqued - To demonstrate to the world what clever people they are.

December 4th, 2017, 05:27 PM
Emotional Intelligence : The capacity of individuals to recognize their own and other peoples emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior... Wikipedia...


December 4th, 2017, 05:31 PM
I would say that emotional intelligence, as is relates to poetry, is having a keen awareness of what we feel. Basically, an emotional release without paying a more polished heed to structure.

The art of it is more about skill of the honing emotional expression e.g. paying attention to word precision, skillfully refining a poem keeping mechanics in mind such as apt use of Figures of Speech, attention to punctuation etc…

Most of my work is Confessional (though I’m now veering towards other genres). When writing a Confessional piece, I keep both in mind. So, I think applause should be directed to the differences fused effectively.

December 4th, 2017, 05:36 PM
Double post - an example of not paying heed to the mechanics of the art of posting....

December 4th, 2017, 05:37 PM
Tim, I think the two are related in a significant way. Here is something I found from Robert Frost that I think fits the subject intelligently.

“A poem begins with a lump in the throat.” – Robert Frost
Poetry and Emotional Intelligence – there are no two better combinations! Just the words Emotional Intelligence are so full of imagery. Emotions are feelings of sadness, happiness, anger, excitement, fear, anxiety, just to name a few. Being intelligent about them, aware and knowledgeable of what we are feeling and why is a huge accomplishment for anyone. Even more so for the students we are charged with taking care of, both emotionally and academically.
The Orchard School is committed to managing individual emotions in a positive manner (not exactly an easy feat in anyone’s imagination but an important one to understand and master) and to treating everyone in the community with respect and dignity. This month happens to be Poetry Month, a time when we focus on teaching and celebrating the art of poetry writing with our students (again, not exactly an easy feat, but one that is just as important as all the other writing genres they will learn over the years). But why would poetry writing and emotional intelligence be such a great pair?
When I think about poetry (and I am not afraid to admit that it is not my own personal “go to” for enjoyable reading or written expression), it immediately brings feelings and emotions to mind. I am a story writer. I thrive on creating characters and situations and worlds outside of my own personal comfort zone (I don’t think I would act or say some of what I have my characters do and say in my books), but there are so many people out there who thrive on the emotional release that a poem offers. And I think that in itself is why teaching poetry writing to our students –who struggle so much with understanding, managing and expressing their emotions in a healthy way –is so important.
As a teacher I know the challenge of getting our students to see the connections between emotions and poetry. We tend to get caught up in the mechanics and structure of the writing rather than the depth of feeling of the words. But as someone who has worked with emotionally and behaviorally disabled children for the last decade, I can see beyond the structure and mechanics to the beauty the words carry and the beauty our students create with even their simplest attempts at writing a poem. When a student writes a couplet about Spring, and I can feel the happiness and light shining through the words he/she chose – that right there is . . . indescribable.
“All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” – William Wordsworth
“It is the lava of the imagination whose eruption prevents an earthquake.” – George Gordon Noel Byron

December 4th, 2017, 05:48 PM
Robbie, your post was helpful and completely fabulous... I must confess, I have never thought of poetry without emotion, I have read many correct, elegantly penned poems that lacked the emotional connection and they are forgettable...

December 4th, 2017, 06:06 PM
Emotional intelligence where creative processes are concerned cannot be achieved until the individual has enough sense to know the actual critique is about the work itself, not the writer. Those who go off the deep end proclaiming, 'All is lost!' because of single critique are in dire need of a reality check. To often good critiquers are an effigy for those of frail egos. When a piece has not been edited and has foundations built on sand it will come crashing down at the first trace of an incoming tide.

If a writer has not put in the work, has proclaimed themselves an expert on the subject and then suddenly says, 'Hey, I know nothing on this subject...And everyone is being mean. I might as well quit writing.' Why the sudden change in their persona? Probably a solid critique. Someone having the gall to call. Bullshit.

Emotional intelligence is gained through listening, observations, and awareness of one's surroundings. Noticing how others act. It is a critique of one's reactions within a social setting. Pandering to every overt proclaimation of 'They didn't praise my writing, I am done...Never to write again!' does not foster growth of the EQ or the IQ. And from an awareness standpoint, those who offer up thorough critique, are generally a bit more cognizent of EQ as part of critique is considering the emotions that the piece precipitated and the why behind those emotions. Being able to define and articulate those emotions.

It isn't something that needs to be separated out as it is a part of the critique process. Consider a pack of African Wild Dogs. One of the most efficient hunters on the savannah. Pups learn early on by watching their elders and engaging with the pack. They step out of line they get nipped. Boundaries with realistic expectations of advancement. You don't help you go hungry. You get the allegory.

But what of a water buffalo that goes charging through the middle of a pack. Are the dogs going to stand in the way, possibly get trampled, or snap to set a boundary?

Those dogs have a system that works, that encompasses emotion and practical aspects. It is also how I approach writing, with work for critique and when I do the critiquing. There will be people who are going to cry because those mean dogs killed the impala so they could survive, but it is all about balance. Writing is not for the weak or the meek. It has harsh realities, but also incredible wonder if one weathers the storms.

- D.

December 5th, 2017, 01:35 AM
I thought 'emotional intelligence' vis a vis CRITIQUE expressed the kind of criticism that will accept irregularities in grammar, structure, word use, rhythm. . .in fact, a kind of criticism which will at times turn a blind eye to issues as fundamental as incongruity, poor word choice, and ineffectual structure IF the intuitions and emotional pull of the piece can still be 'felt'. Risky. This approach could run the risk of denying the efficacy on the ONE constant in any critique: the text of the poem.

TL Murphy
December 5th, 2017, 05:36 AM
When I say "emotional intelligence" I am constrasting it to "analytical intelligence", which has to do with structure and problem solving. There is also "creative intelligence", which is the ability to imagine beyond given parameters. "Emotional intelligence" is the ability to discern between different feelings and use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage emotions to adapt to changing environments. All of these kinds of intelligence are needed to write good poetry. But emotional intelligence is the most important because poetry is more an expression of feelings than knowledge or even creativity. A poet must rank high in emotional intelligence and have the ability to express it in a way that imparts the same kind of intelligence in readers, but that ability alone does not make poetry. Poetry is a craft and an art which takes a lot of time, study and practice to master. So my question: is the goal of critique to congratulate emotional intelligence or is it to raise the art of poetry? I ask this because a lot of the critique I see seems to have little to do with the art of poetry and more to do with congratulating the author in their expression of emotional intelligence which is confused with poetic expression. I believe anyone who even attempts to write poetry already knows that they possess a relatively high degree of emotional intelligence. That expression is what drives us to write poetry, and I believe that we recognize it in others. But I don't believe we help aspiring poets or ourselves become better poets by praising emotional writing that is not artistic. What we might mean by "artistic" is perhaps another discussion and perhaps each critic has to decide that for him/herself. But critique is also a craft that requires study and developement and I think people who offer critique should take that seriously.

December 5th, 2017, 05:29 PM
Any and all critiques should include what the reader feels the writer did well and what needs to be worked on. I guess it’s possible that a poem could be all one way or another, but I just doubt it.

You should show/include examples of both. I wouldn’t want to see any writer through the baby out with the dirty bath water.

TL Murphy
December 5th, 2017, 05:38 PM
Pelwrath, what if the writer didn’t do anything well? What if the poem is total crap? Do you ignore it? Do you make up some bullshit about the writer’s courage or honesty? Or do you let the writer know that they are going down the wrong path?

December 5th, 2017, 05:53 PM
Tim to tell the writer you admire her courage and honesty is not necessarily ‘made up.’ You can still further the critique by giving suggestions on how to fix the poem.

TL Murphy
December 5th, 2017, 07:05 PM
Robbie, I suppose you are right but it seems like sad consolation for writing bad poetry. We could say the same thing for anyone who posts any kind of poem. It's a weak generalization.

December 5th, 2017, 08:14 PM
Tim, yes, but give them consideration for trying. That’s what I’m saying. If we don’t we are discouraging the wanna be poet who could possibly learn something from critique.

December 5th, 2017, 08:26 PM
Tim, yes, but give them consideration for trying. That’s what I’m saying. If we don’t we are discouraging the wanna be poet who could possibly learn something from critique.

The critical element of this being, does the would be poet actually want to learn or are they looking for praise to be heaped on their heads?

December 5th, 2017, 09:08 PM
Robbie, I suppose you are right but it seems like sad consolation for writing bad poetry. We could say the same thing for anyone who posts any kind of poem. It's a weak generalization.

Every poet starts at the novice level.... learning as they go.... one of the ways they learn is through critique... Yes, they should be applauded for their courage. It is intimidating to come to a forum and post their work, most likely it is also a humbling experience. The first critique can break their confidence, or it can ignite that passion and inspire them to dig in and learn... we all started as unskilled poets, with a desire to communicate . That desire needs careful nurturing, from careful mentors....

The critical element of this being, does the would be poet actually want to learn or are they looking for praise to be heaped on their heads?

The serious poet is easy to spot... watch how they respond to critique.... ;)

December 5th, 2017, 09:16 PM
Darkkin, I suppose we can’t tell until the writer reacts to critique. A serious writer, or wanna be will accept and move forward with suggestions from others. If they can’t or won’t accept valuable criticism I doubt they want to learn.

December 5th, 2017, 09:18 PM
Dear TL & Robbie,
I agree with both of you, I think you’re both right. There’s a big learning curve in the Forum, many levels of writing, understanding and perception.
TL, you have critiqued my work. You we’re, I felt very honest and offered extremely useful instruction. I learned a lot and am still working at it. Thank you.... and while you never used the word crap, I appreciate your restraint. But, I want to know if it’s crap.
I consider you and many others here at WF, experts in various forms and structure of poetry, who, I understand also have opinions and personal poetic tastes but are a wealth of knowledge.
So, with that being said, as you know, I’m in no position to give constructive criticism, but I know what I like and try to offer support as well as my feelings conveyed by the work. Otherwise, I got nothin....
Maybe, poets needing more guidance should be directed/invited to Poetry Hill.
Also, in the defense of new comers, the Forum can be a bit overwhelming, there’s many places to discover and finding a place to fit in may take time. The old saying, you can make some of the people happy some of the time... etc etc...
but here at WF there is an effort. Thank you all.

December 6th, 2017, 02:58 AM
Yes, it is a weak generalization. I occasionally visit a LinkedIn site that has four or five EAL members who post A LOT of poems. They get a lot of gushing one-liners in response. One heartfelt, emotionally charged piece recently, which was literally incomprehensible as something written in English, received a dozen Gushers. I'd had enough and did a full critique of the poem. I was then called "the rules man", I was called "heartless", I was "Stifling the poet's emotional right to self-expression", I was simply "writing my own poem". I have no objection--no right whatever--to stifle anyone's expression of deep feelings they need to 'get out'. But start insisting it's POETRY? The 'expresser of deep feelings' doesn't have the right to present gush and justify it as art because it comes deep from within. If you have a grammatical and usage horror show on the screen, and you find one striking image which you use as validation of your praise of the 'poem', you do a disservice to the poet.

TL Murphy
December 6th, 2017, 05:13 AM
That's a good point, Clark. Sometimes in our struggle to find something good to say about a poem, we tell a white lie by praising schlock. Maybe it's better to say nothing. On the other hand, one man's mud is another man's gold - or something like that. I typically don't comment on a poem unless I see something I like in it. So it shouldn't be hard to show some encouragement. But it does get difficult when comment after comment glosses over something that really should be tossed
. It lowers everyone's standards

December 6th, 2017, 05:50 AM
Clark, if you are referring to Poetry Review and Discuss, it really is not a deep critique group. However, if you are referring to the other one to which I have no access, ignore my comment. That is different.
One thing everyone of us needs to understand is that unless a group's purpose is to provide in-depth review and analysis, it will be resented no matter how objective, how well-meant it is. When someone comes at a poem armed with the kind of poetic expertise you and other distinguished poets possess, the less experienced and beginner poets will feel the blow. I recently read a poem on LI by a poet I don't know at all and thought the poem, though a little sloppy, had some very remarkable images and possibilities of being a really good poem, but since I didn't know him from Adam, I asked if I may make a few suggestions to refine what I saw had a lot of potential but wasn't quite there yet. I was polite but felt he might not relish a dose of critique. True enough, he did not respond to my offer and I left him alone. He just wanted to get likes and praise and no suggestions for improvement. I would have just wasted my time and earned a possibly angry or disgruntled response had I taken the trouble to comment more.

December 6th, 2017, 03:21 PM
.* But start insisting it's POETRY? The 'expresser of deep feelings' doesn't have the right to present gush and justify it as art because it comes deep from within. If you have a grammatical and usage horror show on the screen, and you find one striking image which you use as validation of your praise of the 'poem', you do a disservice to the poet.

I don't believe that one striking image makes a poem, and perfect spelling, grammar and form-- without context and coherence does not make a poem either... ;)

December 6th, 2017, 04:53 PM
Being the individual who has the gall to stand up and say, 'Seriously guys, the man is quite simply naked...' never makes one popular at parties. It is part of the reason I always suggest poets read their work aloud so they can hear what they have written, not merely what they think they have written. To the gushers one is tempted to ask, 'Did you actually read the poem and ask yourself what it means?' A little logic drives that nail home with a vengeance. Something I wish wasn't quite so brutal, but logic by its very nature is unyielding, just like the reality of writing. Anyone posting to public domain should be aware that reality exists within those confines and it is not sunshine and rainbows. It is generally a mixed bag of positive and negative. Adaptation is requisite.

Yes, we want to encourage and foster developement of the craft, but newcomers need to be conscious of the existence of realistic parameters. A little exploring reveals safe zones for those not ready for the tidal areas. Full critique is not present in these places for specific reasons. It is a conscious choice made by the poster. You leap in and don't bother to even glance around...


Poems riff with misspelled words and word vomit one step removed from gibberish, (And yes, we have seen them here on rare occassions. One such poem had twenty-three misspelled words in twelve lines of 'poetry'.) Find something nice to say about something like that when even the poet doesn't know what they meant. Corrections and full critiques were offered within an hour of that piece landing. Needless to say, that sort of thing did not happen again.

It is like the open ocean. Plenty for all if one looks for it, but be conscious of the environment. Solid critiquers are considered predators. Mean monsters for pointing out things like that, and because of it, they become 'bad guys' for not pandering to egos. Critique is about bettering not only one's craft, but one's awareness of the process as a whole, both the reading and the written aspects of it. Predators might bite, but one cannot discount their observations and strategies. They are smart, active, and highly aware.


December 6th, 2017, 04:58 PM
DarKKin, I think we both have been here long enough, and are experienced enough to tell the difference between someone vomiting in the poetry thread, and someone who is a sincere, unskilled poet....

TL Murphy
December 6th, 2017, 05:09 PM
Darkkin, There is a difference between a predator and someone who wants to offer honest critique in order to get honest critique. There are critics who seem to relish the kill. I notice that these types rarely give positive critique. They prey on weakness and post very few poems themselves. I suspect their motives.

December 6th, 2017, 05:28 PM
Both ends of the spectrum. Orcas hunt only what they need to survive, but they interact within their communities. They are curious, pushing boundaries, and exploring. These same actions apply to writing, as well. Those wanting to learn, they ask questions and interact. Learn by doing, but also offering something of one's self up at the same time, giving newcomers a chance at a fresh bait ball. The beast revealing its belly, so to speak.

But too often, critiquers get labelled solely as only critics. Yes, real critics are in it just for the kill. Nothing offered, everything taken. And there are only three known classifications of creatures in nature that do that. Parasites, viruses, and humans... True critiquers get caught in the crossfire of the actions of those rare few, and that is what frustrates me about this subject. Learning balance, heightening one's awareness, and furthering one's craft...Adapting to fluid circumstances. That is the purpose of critique. Not to leave a piece gutted and bleeding without recourse. That is just plain trolling.

One of the best tools for learning. Poke the belly of the beast. Articulate an opinion and dare to ask a question. Sometimes the answers might surprise you...There are true monsters out there, but more often than not it is a case of misidentification.

- D.

December 6th, 2017, 05:42 PM
I agree, DarKKin, and I could not have said it better... I share your frustration... ;) it gets old real quick when as a mentor, I see members dump poem after poem in the poetry thread, do not say "Thank you" to a critique, and offer nothing to other poets....
sorry for derailing your thread, TL.... ;)

December 6th, 2017, 06:01 PM
A purpose of critique, that I think gets lost in the suffle a bit, is gaining confidence in one's self that does not stem from empty pats on the back. Being able to look at one's piece objectively and say. Okay. Pete said S2 L3 didn't seem to work and this is why. Simply learning to trust and deploy one's own critical thinking skills. Because many writers focus solely on the negative aspects of critique they can miss crucial tools.

I've critiqued pieces that have induced a flinch upon first read, and even though the critique was not steeped in praise, poets went back and revised. And that action alone takes guts. Seeing revisions like that, the massive progression of a piece from a draft with little resemblence to a poem into viable piece brimming with potential, make the effort that goes into critique worth it.

It isn't about egos, it is about the work. But it takes effort on both sides. EQ working with the IQ.

December 7th, 2017, 12:35 AM
Pelwrath, what if the writer didn’t do anything well? What if the poem is total crap? Do you ignore it? Do you make up some bullshit about the writer’s courage or honesty? Or do you let the writer know that they are going down the wrong path?


My poetry understanding is most definitely not on the technical side. With a background in education, I've seen a few essays that just didn't cut it. I told each student in a note, to see me privately. At which time I explained what they did wrong and why. I showed them where and why any theories or suppositions were wrong or not very well supported.

My critiques of the poems I've provided, favor the flow and feel over the technical. In the case that you mention and that I said could happen, just be honest without being mean or beating a dead horse. If it's that bad, I don't need to say this for each line or stanza, I'd just end the critique early, mention that I'd be interested in seeing a rewrite and offer a few suggestions as how it could be done.

December 7th, 2017, 07:59 PM
https://www.writingforums.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Clark You find one striking image which you use as validation of your praise of the 'poem', you do a disservice to the poet.

Thank you, Clark. A timely post for me.

Of course, it can be taken a step further than lauding an image. You can find yourself as a reviewer lost in works due to emotional identification or drawn in by the challenge of an intellective piece, finding yourself in Subjective Oblivian. And what a heady place this is! But it's an indulgent. And often times inadvertant. I would say many of us need to stand back and become the Strong Self Objective Observer.

I believe that Critique is an Artform. Maybe more than voice, tone can reach the new poet. It's one balancing act for some as to how to engage the writer in an non-threating way. I think the ultimate goal is to go for discussion. This is where art comes in. How we maneuver language and refine tone so we can spark interest and get the excitement of exchaning in action.

https://www.writingforums.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by FireMajic It is intimidating to come to a forum and post their work, most likely it is also a humbling experience. The first critique can break their confidence, or it can ignite that passion and inspire them to dig in and learn... we all started as unskilled poets, with a desire to communicate . That desire needs careful nurturing, from careful mentors....

Fire, you're using the operative word, "careful". And nurturing, like nurturing a child, comes in many forms. Your gift is administering just the right dose of humour in your reviews, always consistant and artfully put. Even as a seasoned poet, when I hear from you I'm encouraged to write more and better.

I learned more from professors who injected humour in their lectures than those who gave dry deliveries. It should go without saying, the former peaked my interest. And I payed attention!

Effective critques require, word precision, objectiviy, sensitivity and a pallet of colours to enrich your feedback addressing the varied style of our poets in training.

December 7th, 2017, 09:26 PM
I'm dropping in after reading only the posts on the last page, so pardon me if I trample on toes or repeat myself like an old drunk on the corner of the street.

It strikes me as a bit odd to ask the question 'what is the goal of a critique' when one would assume that the definition of 'critique' would provide a strong indication. Allow me to be irritating for a moment:

cri·tique (krĭ-tēk′)
A critical evaluation or analysis, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
tr.v. cri·tiqued, cri·tiqu·ing, cri·tiques

Usage Problem

To evaluate or analyze critically.

[French, from Greek kritikē (tekhnē), (art) of criticism, feminine of kritikos, critical; see critic.]

Usage Note: Critique has been used as a verb meaning "to review or discuss critically" since the 1700s, but lately this usage has gained much wider currency, partly because the once-neutral verb criticize is now used mainly in a negative sense. The use of critique as a verb is widely though not universally accepted: In our 2016 survey, the sentence As mock inquisitors grill him, top aides take notes and critique the answers with the President afterward was deemed acceptable by 63 percent of the Usage Panel, while 62 percent approved of the sentence Students are taught how to do a business plan and then they are critiqued on it. But a substantial minority of readers are annoyed by the verb, partly because borrowings from French can sound pretentious, partly because verbs derived from nouns sometimes have trouble gaining acceptance. There is no exact synonym, but in some contexts one can substitute evaluate or review. · The use of critique as a noun is uncontroversial: in our 2016 survey, 93 percent of the Usage Panel approved of its use in the sentence The committee gave the report a thorough critique and found it both informed and intelligent.

So, assuming that the question is in earnest and does not proceed from, say, passive aggression or facetiousness, then allow me to toss my hat into the ring.

Critique is necessary to provide a method for mentors, teachers and amateurs to share insights, observations and corrections to (in this case) poetry posted for the purpose. The goal, ultimately, is to assist a person in the growth and understanding of the art and science of poetry. The goal is to help entrants and applicants in their journey to expressing themselves through the medium of poetry in a clear, effective and creative manner while adhering to various schools of thought and expectation. The person posting should, as much as possible, learn to wear a thick enough skin to take on the slings and arrows of outrageous critique and commentary for the express purpose of improving themselves, discovering errors and inconsistencies, and elevating their writing to new levels and vistas.

Obviously, there are quite a few mechanical bits that go toward that goal (such as SP&G etc.) There are also softer bits such as impressions, appreciation of form and style and so on. Critique serves an important and unimpeachable purpose when the intention is to share or publish poetry: To perfect the craft, to wire our brains so that much of it becomes instinctive so that we are able to fluidly express ourselves without bogging down with the details.

At least that is my assumption.

There are rules of engagement in giving a critique, of course. Along with the bone-chilling and breaking directness of opinion and correction must exist a layer of kindness, consideration and respect for the mind and person of the author. Without that then we may as well submit our stuff to an artificial intelligence and have it regurgitate technical reports and ratings. Or a big hammer. Not my idea of fun or useful, to be honest.

Anyway, that's my knee jerk reaction to the subject. Carry on.

December 8th, 2017, 01:36 AM
Horsedragon -- You "drop in", write an excellent post re-affirming the boards around a drifting sheet of ice, then, Order re-established, tell us to "carry on". Reminded me of a visit to the barracks by the RSM (Regimental Sergeant-Major). No Sir--YOU stay here and engage with us. You're far too smart to blitz in, then go away. The dialectic will be enriched if you stick around. Besides, us Canadians now have a basketball team + a couple of spares in the poetry game here. You show talent in the surprise rapid dribble, slow lay-up combination. We need you.

December 8th, 2017, 02:07 PM
Gosh, clark, I'm not sure how to respond to that. You are most kind. And I like the reference to your RSM. I knew such a man in my days in the military. At the time I didn't find a lot of amusement in it, but looking back... I sometimes think of the old rooster in Chicken Run; "Why... we never did that sort of thing in my old RAF days!" I love to imitate that old chicken.

As for hanging around? It's hard to say. I come and go, I'm not all that reliable. (I'm often offline for days on end. Writing, at least for me, requires a certain amount of reclusive concentration.) Sometimes I'm like Jeremy, the crow in The Secret of NIMH. "Sparklies!"

But I'll be around. Thank you for recognizing my rapid dribble. "Better than a drool, I say!" (In the voice of the old rooster.)