The Art of Receiving Poetic Critique
You can show your poem to your mom, your spouse, your co-workers, or your friends, but you might not get the responses that you can suck up into your little writing fingers to use in an effort to refine your craft. What does it really mean when someone who cares about you, but not for poetry says, "Wow, this is great. I really like it?"
So perhaps you've realized this conundrum and you've decided to put your poem, ripe and juicy, in the feeding bin of a cyber critique forum. Watch out. If the only feedback you've ever gotten on your diligently crafted efforts has been the sweet nothings from those around you, you might be shocked, upset, or saddened at the responses that the critics pile onto your poem. You might get, "This line is cliché;" "The rhyme is a bit forced here;" "The wording in this stanza is awkward;" or the ever dreaded, "What are you trying to say?"
A normal response to a critique with one, some, or all of the above comments can have a newly critiqued poet either running for the cyber exit, or poising himself in the ready for a fist through his monitor. Don't fret. As I said, these are common first responses; furthermore, even the most experienced poet has his share of poems infected by the harsh words of a critic.
So how does one handle a critique? Well, first, one must understand that a critique isn't a critique on the poet. Being a great poet doesn't make one immune to negative critique. The poet must ingest every word a critic throws his way. There is finesse to using critique. A poet doesn't have to blindly accept a critique, but he should consider just why it is the critic offered the suggestion, and then try to delineate how the critique relates to the aim of the poem.
Say, for example, you wrote a poem with short choppy lines. Your intention was to convey an abrupt sound that resembled the theme of your poem. Say a critic told you, "Your lines are much too short and choppy." Okay, now you don't have to go off and explain to the critic that you did it on purpose and that he is obviously ignorant. You might want to give your piece a second look-over, wait for some more responses, and chew on all of that for a while. So, given the critique of "too short and choppy," you might not want to totally change your piece in an effort to satisfy a critic who didn't understand what it was you were trying to do, but you could search for a way to keep your style while hinting at your purpose.
Always consider your intentions as compared to the way someone reads your poem. If you are finding that people don't understand your intentions, you need to re-work your piece within your own design.
The very first honest critique is always the most difficult one to swallow. After that, the critiques don't go away, they just become welcomed tools for the aspiring as well as established poet.
Devrie Paradowski is a freelance writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by several literary journals and she has written dozens of articles for various publications including "Poetry Renewal Magazine," and "Poetryscams.com." She is the author of the chapbook, "Something In the Dirt," which can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/108560 . In 2001, Devrie founded a popular online literary community ( http://www.LiteraryEscape.com ) that has become highly respected for some of the most honest and in-depth poetic critique on the Internet. In keeping with her commitment to inspire amateur writers to hone their skills, she also founded a local writer's group called, "The Fire and Ice Writer's Group."
Ocean Heal Me
Ocean Heal Me
A Dose of Laughter
I'm not well. Can't you tell? Kinda low, so,give me a dose of laughter.
Since Youve Been Gone...
My life has changedin so so many waysIt seems to always bein a state of disarray...
In the Mountans of Haiti [A Poem: in English and Spanish]
In the Mountains of Haiti
House of the Goblin [Part Two of Three/with notes]
House of the Goblin[Part Two of Three]
Out of the eight poems provided here [all previously unpublished], four are Poetic Prose, a few Visionary [what I call Vsionary anyhow], a few Free Verse, and a few with more form and structure, more closely to the Auden style of: stanza, metrical rhythm, and rhyme. In saying that, I do believe all the poems are conveying a rich network of meaning, some of them painfully close bond between pleasure and destruction. They should appeal to the senses and create images in our minds, for poetry is just that kind of language that most complexly and effectively qualifies.
Shaking out the Rugs [Following the Poet]
Let's follow the poet to hisHell and heaven! Count hisGhosts and dilemma's?
Ode To Quetzalcoatal [Now in Spanish and English]
Ode to Quetzalcóatl
Two Poems Written During Recovery
Since my wife and I are moving, or preparing to move, we've been going through our things as most people must, to prepare for the new location, and in doing so, I found two poems, ones I wrote in 1990, now 15-years old, never published, and so I'd like to publish them today. I was a heavy drinker up to 1984 (some twenty years drinking), when I quite, and so these poems must have something to do with it, a slight reflection perhaps. They were never numbered, as I have done in the past to most of my poems, but I assume they would be around #125 and #126, or so, out of #760. I did not have a name for either of them, so I shall name them accordingly?now:
The Ballad of: Brawling Mad-dog Sergeant Rook [Now in: SPANISH and English]
Lifes Too Short
Time goes by to quicklyto hold your feelings insideEspecially when their so strongeven if they don't abide...
I WANTED TO SAY IT WITH A BUNCH OF FLOWERS A CARD WOULD HAVE SUFFICED.
Ode, to the Mighty Midget Omac [In English and Spanish]
Part OneMidget History
Passion and Poetry, and Life
Ironically, the passion that can neutralize the repulsion for difficulties depends on the effort to overcome these difficulties. The irony resides in the circularity of this principle ? which applies to all areas of activity, including poetry: One must make the effort to overcome difficulties to achieve success and feel capable, and one needs this achievement and feeling to have a passion for making this effort.
Ambiguity and Abstraction in Bob Dylan?s Lyrics
To many people contemporary poetry is a turn-off. The reason for this is that the majority of these poems are boring. They are so because they fail to enable people to identify with them. The bulk of modern poetry is no longer about reader identification but about information transfer, information that could just as easily be conveyed in a prose form. These poems are written merely to convey the poet's thoughts and feelings about a specific event, situation or place he or she has experienced or is in the act of experiencing. The poet is not necessarily concerned with whether the reader is moved or not by the poem, so long as he or she understands clearly the information the poet is trying to convey. This may consist of some "important" insight gained from an experience, or it could be (as is usually the case) a jaded statement or commentary about some mundane aspect of contemporary life.
Rules for Writing Poetry
You've been writing poetry since that first assignment in your high school writing class. You know the rules about writing poetry, right? Are there rules? Well, if you frequent the poetry forums across the Internet as much as I do, you'd find that there are a lot of amateur poets who adamantly declare that there are no rules for writing poetry and if someone even suggests reading poetry or books on poetry, many of the amateur poets will throw up a defensive front. My opinion seems to swing fervently toward the opposition. You have to know the rules before you break them; at least that's what I always say.
Five Poems from Home [And a view on the planet vs. the poet]
Five Poems from Home
Writing Innovative Poetry
Writing innovative poetry, the kind of poetry that reputable literary journals publish, entails knowing exactly what each word of a poem does to the reader. A good poem should be evocative, skillful, and cohesive, but before attempting to hone these attributes, a potential poet should be knowledgeable of the various forms and attributes of contemporary poetry. A good way to become familiar with the aspects of contemporary poetry is to take classes, join writing workshops, and subscribe to contemporary literary journals. Reading and understanding good poetry is vital to being able to write good poetry.
A World That Doesnt Care
War bombs may explode demolishing man and land.Hurricanes may devastate and leave us entirely bare.Earthquakes may devour and swallow up old landmarks.But nothing is as destructive as a world that doesn't care.
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