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Thread: What is the goal of critique?

  1. #31
    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....
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  2. #32
    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.

  3. #33
    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.
    Last edited by Darkkin; December 6th, 2017 at 05:40 PM.


  4. #34
    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....
    Check out the exciting Poetry Hill !!

    If you are a writer, reach a reader
    If you are a fighter, teach a leader
    If you are a lover, touch a leper
    If this has helped you, thank you, reader

    If you can read this, teach a thinker

    Author: Lynn Loschky



    Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
    love leaves a memory no one can steal....
    Author unknown.

  5. #35
    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.
    Last edited by Darkkin; December 6th, 2017 at 06:17 PM.


  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    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?
    TL;

    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.
    Illegitimi non carborundum 'Vinegar' Joe Stilwell
    What you learn in life is important, those you help learn, are more important.

  7. #37
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    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.

    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.
    Last edited by SilverMoon; December 8th, 2017 at 05:55 PM.


  8. #38
    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′)
    n.
    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.
    Last edited by HorseDragon; December 7th, 2017 at 09:28 PM. Reason: Well, words - actually.
    P E R F E C T L Y . D A M A G E D

    I am an interpretation of my experiences. Had I been born in a different time, a different place, I would be a different person.

  9. #39
    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.



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "Coleridge would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the penetralium of mystery, because of an irritable reaching after fact and reason." Keats, Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  10. #40
    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.)
    P E R F E C T L Y . D A M A G E D

    I am an interpretation of my experiences. Had I been born in a different time, a different place, I would be a different person.

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