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  #11  
Unread 03-30-2021, 03:39 PM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Steiner View Post
Welcome, Barry!









On forms of critique:

Sometimes rewriting someone else's poem to show what you mean is the most convenient way of communicating your point, but if you do this, it's best to do so sparingly--for example, no more than one or two excerpts of the poem at a time.

The point of workshopping is not to make the poem the best it can be. The point is to make the poet the best they can be, and that can't happen unless they struggle with things for themselves. It's like the old story of the well-meaning child kindly helping a butterfly emerge from the cocoon, only to find that the butterfly can't take flight because it needed that physical effort in order for the wings to deploy properly. So it's better to suggest possible directions that the poet might take things, rather than rewrite.











Julie's eloquence caused me to remember a comment made by Geoffrey Hill in an interview that a "perceptive critic" is not just a critic who's able to perceive and praise the positive technique and skill of a poet, but one who is also able to state how that poet is flawed and how those flaws can be rectified.
I'd advise you to be honest. If you find a poem exceedingly brilliant say so. If you find it exceedingly terrible likewise. Though rewriting I would accept, I think it is better to write up much of your thoughts in the most comprehensive manner, especially with an explanation of how you "read" interpreted the poem. I (mostly) try to be detailed whether that be positively or negatively. A one-sentence comment often isn't going to accomplish anything in line with the aims of a workshop: in that it isn't going to be helpful in providing critical commentary most of the time! But, I think, honesty is the most important factor. And irreverence.

Hope this helps.
  #12  
Unread 03-30-2021, 04:40 PM
Barry J. M. Thomson Barry J. M. Thomson is offline
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Thanks for your response Clark, I'm sure I have many flaws, and being honest, I like how my poem turned out in the end, though I'm not sure I can be a good judge of quality, I'm uneducated, with little understanding of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and no tutoring as part of a creative writing course, etc.

But I will say, I'm just a casual writer, writing what I enjoy, paying little attention to rules or expectations placed upon me from the outside, I like what I write, as I find it enjoyable, and I feel though it is often a little simple, most of my work is at least passable, and I have more than a few positive comments in my memory to confirm that much at least, its passable, casual, enjoyable poetry.

Not sure what your getting at with the recommendation to honesty though, I have been writing and re writing this post passionately for a number of hours, because I was enjoying myself, and the initial responses while I was still busy at work, show that it did not even appear to be passable to begin with at all.

I had no idea how it would turn out, I just noticed a few things while writing that inspired me, went with it, and tried to turn it into something poetic, I think it turned out ok in the end, but if what you are implying had any basis, I have to ask, would I not have instead made a completed post, showcasing the best of what I have written?, if nothing else, it was all written completly unplanned, in the heat of the moment, right before the eyes of the erato sphere, and in any case, a key element within poetry, at least in my opinion, is "try", so it doesn't matter if you fail, so long as you poe-try.

I wasnt thinking about outside opinion while writing, not wholly at least, though seeing the responses to the dibs period of the process, which I intended to stake my work until I could format it completely, did help to let me know that it would be a good idea to remove the dibs, once I was finished with the creative process.

But anyway, it doesn't really matter if the first draft, or any other draft really, of the resulting poem, is any good or not whatsoever, as it was a work of complete spontaneity, unplanned, un designed, left exactly as it was in order, just modified with seasoning within it's original context, at least for the most part as far as I remember it, to try to make what I had written sound a little better, a little more poetic, maybe I wasn't as successful as I would have liked, but I like it, and I liked writing it, it was fun, my only real aim, once I had given in to the creation process fully, was perhaps to tell an interesting story within a story, but I had no way of knowing if It would be successful or not, while I was still writing it and editing it, I just believed in the potential, got swept along with the inspirational feeling, and enjoyed myself in the process, why do you think I wrote dibs in the first place, it doesn't make sense as part of a poem, not the way I wrote it anyway, and that fact is also made clear amongst my responses, perhaps I am a less than competent poet?, but surely I'm not THAT bad, I was simply claiming my unfinished work, while I was still in the middle of writing it.

I'm not sure why you would suggest what you seem to have suggested, but it's ok, I know myself, I've always done my best to be honest, even at detriment to myself, particularly in the sight of others, appearing silly or foolish to them, being laughed at, etc, but I am who I am, I've been depressed about that for a long time, but I'm finally starting to accept myself, after year's of struggle and self hatred, and I will continue to be who I am from now on as well, as being alone in the world, I am the only person I have who can make me happy.

The opinions of others have ruled my life, for most of the last 20 years or so, but I've realised it doesn't really matter, I can't please 6 billion plus opinions, and I agree with less than half of their opinions anyway, so I'll just keep being myself, knowing who I am on the inside, oblivious to the negative criticism as best I can be, which always passes like mist in the wind regardless, and anyway, we will all be dead soon, so what does it really matter?.

Thanks for stopping by, B.

Last edited by Barry J. M. Thomson; 03-30-2021 at 05:15 PM.
  #13  
Unread 03-30-2021, 05:28 PM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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Barry, I believe W.T. Clark's comments about honesty did not refer to your poem, but in general to one's crits of the poems of others. His comment was, I believe, occasioned by this remark of yours in your original post: "I can't post my poems yet, as I am required to give positive responses on others work first, that's fine, but I wonder if someone could explain the etiquette a little for me."

You have gotten sidetracked from this original enquiry with your own poem on this thread. But I must respond to your question about etiquette. You acknowledge that you are not allowed to post a poem until you have shown good faith in critting the poems of others (and not in a "positive" way, this is not a vanity board, but simply in an "honest" way, as W.T. observes). Yet then you simply go and post a poem on this thread! Don't you see the contradiction there? In fact, there is a rule on the boards that poems are not to be posted on talk threads, but only on the prescribed poetry boards according to the rules. So (I say this in a friendly manner, and since you asked) you are in breach of the rules of eitquette of the boards.

As far as explaining these rules of eitquette, well, it is really quite simple. This poetry board, in order to thrive, needs writers who are as interested in the work of others as in their own work, as interested in the collection of selves gathered up here, as they are in their own selves. The strict rule that one must first crit the poems of others, well, it takes one's eyes off of oneself for a period of time, at least partially; and that is, in the end, quite healthy for both the individual writer and for this board where those individual writers are gathered.

This is also a somewhat advanced poetry workshop, so your profession about writing ("it was fun, my only real aim") rings a little out of tune with some of the arduous work that goes on up here. Just sayin'.

There is no hurry to crit and post instantaneously.
Sit back and observe, test the waters gradually.
That seems the best approach to becoming an active member here.

Respectfully,
Nemo
  #14  
Unread 03-30-2021, 05:41 PM
Barry J. M. Thomson Barry J. M. Thomson is offline
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Nemo, thank you so much for your response, and my sincere apologies to clark.

Due to the condition of my mind, autism, mental illness, etc, I can sometimes misinterpret people, so again, I apologise.

I was aware, that it may not be a good idea to post this yet, and still have a concern of such in my mind, but it was honest deviation, not intended to be a poem at all to begin with, I just got swept up in something I felt I had to finish, to see the conclusion of, even if only for myself, I would like it to stay now that it's done, perhaps moved somewhere else?, but will work with whatever response the moderators deem necessary or appropriate, and feel such unlikely to occur again in future.

as to the advanced level of the forum, I haven't looked into the deep end yet, and have seen some incredible work, even within the metrical section, but though I describe myself as writing casual, enjoyable poetry, and though my work will no doubt be different, or unique, when compared to others, as is the work of all poets, regarding the poetry I have written in the past, after reading some of what is here in the forum, I don't feel completely out of my depth, I just need some guidance from more knowledgable poets regarding grammar and structure etc, to improve what I have already, whatever level that may prove to be in the end, in a sense, I'm here to learn my place poetically, seeking guidance, criticism, and suggestions, from writers more advanced than myself, and perhaps a little more qaulified, than the casual audiences I may be used to up to this point, I hope that is acceptable.

thank you both for taking the time to explain my queries of etiquette to me, I will try to abide by such better in future. B.

Last edited by Barry J. M. Thomson; 03-30-2021 at 05:55 PM.
  #15  
Unread 03-30-2021, 05:48 PM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Quote:
a key element within poetry, at least in my opinion, is "try", so it doesn't matter if you fail, so long as you poe-try.
Oh, dear. Barry, I strongly recommend that you read the guidelines for this community.

I think you are looking for a different kind of online poetry site. It doesn't sound as if you will be happy in one that describes itself like this:

Quote:
Eratosphere caters to writers and artists who want to improve their own work, to help others in that process, and to exchange useful information. We try to maintain high standards of craft. As a posting venue, Eratosphere is not suitable for most beginners or for those who mainly seek mutual support and praise.
There are lots of "mutual support and praise" poetry sites. I think you would be more at home in one of those, because the following attitudes are not going to be well-received here:

Quote:
But anyway, it doesn't really matter if the first draft, or any other draft really, of the resulting poem, is any good or not whatsoever, as it was a work of complete spontaneity, unplanned, un designed, left exactly as it was in order, just modified with seasoning within it's original context, [...]
Eratosphere is not a beginner’s forum or a place for early drafts. That's what the label says, right on the tin.

If you don't really care about your work's quality, why should we? And why should we waste time critiquing it, after your announcement that you are determined to be

Quote:
oblivious to the negative criticism as best I can be, which always passes like mist in the wind regardless, and anyway, we will all be dead soon, so what does it really matter?.
There are very good reasons behind our rule requiring a certain number of substantive critiques of others' work before workshopping one's own poems here. There are also good reasons behind our rule against vanity-posting our own poems outside of the workshop threads. Editing the first post of this thread in order to get around these two rules does not make a good impression. It just announces that you don't like the way we do things. Well, we do like the way we do things here, and frankly, we are not going to make exceptions for you if you find that these rules cramp your style. So perhaps it's best that we part ways at this point.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 03-30-2021 at 06:09 PM.
  #16  
Unread 03-30-2021, 06:07 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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There's really no need to argue with him. He will lose interest very quickly and be gone before you know it.
  #17  
Unread 03-30-2021, 06:34 PM
Barry J. M. Thomson Barry J. M. Thomson is offline
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Hm, it's a shame that my self expression is giving such a poor impression of me somehow, I don't quite understand that, but I agree with the posts you quoted Julie, and since I enjoy poetry so much, I would very much like to become a better poet, I have.posted on poet freak, and experienced the support you describe already.

I have considered taking extensive college courses to improve, English language and English literature, creative writing, perhaps copywriting courses etc.

and a number of people have remarked positively about the way I write, even with poor grammar, and I like to think, that what I lack in formal education, I make up for in imagination, and ability to think outside the box.

I'm happy to develop "in the heat of adversity", so I can find out one way or the other, if I may have any undeveloped natural ability, as others have suggested I have.

I may turn out to be dross in the end, I'm a very flawed individual, with many weaknesses, but I will not know for sure, until I have passed through the fire in the first place, so, unless I'm booted off, I'm here to stay, and hope those with little faith in me, will make peace with that fact, until I have proven myself, one way or the other, good or bad, even if only to myself alone.

I hope I can offer something to other poets, perhaps not grammatically until I have developed more, but I have bucket loads of creativity and imagination to share, perhaps seeing things in a different light will be enough?, I won't know until I have been here for longer, but either way, I'm here to stay, until I learn whether my potential really exists, or does not, one way or the other, Until then, with all due respect, you will just have to put up with my presence among you .

Last edited by Barry J. M. Thomson; 03-30-2021 at 06:41 PM.
  #18  
Unread 03-31-2021, 01:42 AM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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(Thank you very much Nemo for clarifying my comment. I apologise if it wasn't clear.)

The best advise I would give, no matter if you stay here or leave, is read. Read around the site and the poems posted, but more widely, read. The best manner in which one can improve their poetry is by reading other poetry. Poetics is a craft, and you won't understand that craft until you observe it in action.
Also, I do not understand your comments on grammar. The Internet (can be) a vast learning resource, you'll find much on grammar by just googling.
Regards,
Cameron
  #19  
Unread 03-31-2021, 03:56 AM
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Jayne Osborn Jayne Osborn is offline
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Barry,

I'm sorry, but this thread is in breach of our Guidelines, though many members have been kind enough to spend a lot of time giving you advice.

An initial query from a new member extending to nearly 1800 words (which was very much longer before you edited it) is, to say the least, self-indulgent. I fully appreciate your honesty in telling us that you have mental health problems, but we cannot allow special dispensations for that reason, I'm afraid.

I'm locking this thread as it is unlikely to produce anything further that hasn't already been said, although as Julie has pointed out, it is debatable whether Eratosphere is the right forum for you; “you're stuck with me whether you like it or not” kind of attitude is not acceptable, and that decision is not wholly yours to make anyway.

Jayne
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