Actually, I think I wimped out on this issue. Some of the comments were just…well, what can I say? If people want to fight about my not liking the ‘like’ button…that’s their problem. I still hate it, but I don’t expect the same people from PU to read or comment on my poetry. LOL! And, anyone who claims they read 100 poems a day, what can I say?
I think that we can get into something like this: we read, we dismiss. I think every poem that is posted deserves a critical review. If it’s a bad poem, even more so. If the poet doesn’t like it, too bad. You must make the effort to express what you see and what you see wrong, or the problems. Poets, at least most of us, if we are serious, shouldn’t be ‘fluffers’. Ego is certainly involved, but I have also seen poets write the same bad stuff and either people avoid their poetry..or they lie. Perhaps that is where the ‘like’ button maintains an uncomfortable peace?
Again, I am finding that many poetry sites are just set up for people to post their poetry and read some others. There is little serious poetry criticism on these sites. Mostly one liners that give little information on the weaknesses of the poetry.
I think the issue is this: simply, we are not trained in poetry criticism. Probably very few of us poets are. And I think that people do the best they can, but we are hampered by our lack of training. Obviously most online poetry groups aren’t set up for this. It’s just a place to get your poetry read and to read others. This in itself is legitimate, and it improves our poetry over time. Perhaps.
I see poetry criticism as a refining fire. It burns away excess crap in our work and that can’t be bad. It’s painful, mostly to the ego, but over the course of time, when we embrace it properly, and it is given properly, we improve in remarkable ways. Most times.
A lot of people have said that poetry is too subjective, too personal to crit. I don’t think that is true, but it is damn hard to do so. Some people don’t follow rhythm/meter/and play with metaphor, etc. And that is legitimate. We aren’t all cookie cutters in poetry. So…where does that leave us?
Well, I still hate the ‘like’ button, but I realize that some people are doing the best they can. As am . Still, there are a lot of lazy poets on poetry sites. They will never make the attempt to learn proper poetry criticism. But there must be tutorials somewhere that can lead us in a different approach to this stuff.
A simple poem, posted for a new poetry group, Poets United.
Pitcher of Moon
I dip into the pond
And gather a pitcher of moon.
Above it glimmers,
Smiles at my efforts
This late- winter moon.
It is just a bowl of cool water
I am holding
But the magic of the cosmos settles
In this plain clay vessel.