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Thread: Poetry Free-For-All?

  1. #1
    talks too much.
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    Poetry Free-For-All?

    Hi gang,

    I'm sure some of you have surfed on over there to Poetry Free-For-All. it's over there at everypoet.org. Man, I was just looking at some of the critiques - boy are they harsh! I mean, I know the purpose of a critique is obviously for constructive criticism but Lord have mercy!

    They've not critiqued mine just yet (I'm sure they will shred it to pieces) but going into the "Newbie Forum" and calling pieces by people who are there trying to learn and saying things like; "abysmally bad", "written by a 9-year-old", and stating that a "six-day-dead animal stands a better chance at resuscitation than this piece" just seems downright cruel to me.

    Anyone been over there before? Again, i understand criticism, but some of that stuff just comes off as just plain mean.

    Jason

  2. #2
    The Anti-Magdalene KellyAssauer's Avatar
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    Criticism -to me- needs to be both constructive and encouraging*. If you're getting less than both of those characteristics in a critique, then you're not getting a thoughtful review. In my opinion 'mean' voices in critiques are only there to hear themselves and have little, to nothing, to do with the value of the work presented.

    *Which, of course, is why AW critiques just rock.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KellyAssauer View Post
    Criticism -to me- needs to be both constructive and encouraging*. If you're getting less than both of those characteristics in a critique, then you're not getting a thoughtful review. In my opinion 'mean' voices in critiques are only there to hear themselves and have little, to nothing, to do with the value of the work presented.

    *Which, of course, is why AW critiques just rock.
    I totally agree. Like I said, they haven't gotten around to my piece just yet, but I'll happily share with everyone here what they had to say, however devastating it may be!

  4. #4
    Mentoring Myself and Others Debbie V's Avatar
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    Get your two more posts and ask for a critique here. I promise we'll be kind enough, but not too kind.

  5. #5
    Rosemary, Antiphon
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    I think there are more constructive places to improve your poetry than at pffa. Everyone has to start somewhere, and abuse helps no one. I haven't looked at the crit here yet, but places such as Wild Poetry Forum, The Poetry Forum, Poets' Graves, Poetry Circle, Critical Poet... they all offer help and advice for poets of all levels in a civilised and polite fashion.

    Rosemary

  6. #6
    Grand Duchess Ambrosia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie V View Post
    Get your two more posts and ask for a critique here. I promise we'll be kind enough, but not too kind.
    For posting in the Poetry Crit forum, there is no 50 post requirement, unlike SYW. Just an expectation that the person posting will comment on other people's poems in the crit section.
    ..
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  7. #7
    Grand Duchess Ambrosia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antiphon View Post
    I think there are more constructive places to improve your poetry than at pffa. Everyone has to start somewhere, and abuse helps no one. I haven't looked at the crit here yet, but places such as Wild Poetry Forum, The Poetry Forum, Poets' Graves, Poetry Circle, Critical Poet... they all offer help and advice for poets of all levels in a civilised and polite fashion.

    Rosemary
    You should look at the Poetry Crit section here. You will find some very good poems and good comments in the Crit area.

    And if you are of a bent to write or read poetry, do comment on the pieces awaiting critique. The more people commenting and offering their opinions, the better for the poets trying to improve their work.
    ..
    2015 AW POETRY CONTEST -- SPACE...(It's happening NOW, folks!)


    "Hmmm .... Duchess after much thought you are clearly the Tribal Sage." Neporsche, Tribal Scribe

    “Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” –Khalil Gibran
    .


  8. #8
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    I sometimes ignore poets who come in for a hit and run critique on their poem without offering any feedback of their own. But that doesn't outright harm a poet. It just means that those who give more tend to get more.

    So I'd encourage anyone to post a poem for critique, but if you want to get the broadest number of critiques, it's best to become part of the community, at least for a while, that you wish to do you the favor of critiquing your work.

    And it is a favor. "Duh, what?" or "Okay, cool." isn't much of a critique, but some people put in much more effort than that for a stranger. You may not be able to pay them back, and it probably isn't their intention that you do, but you can pay the forum back by helping someone else in the exact same way you'd hope to be helped. That will keep the crit forum a place where people like you can come to have a good poetry experience with a wide variety of helpful people.

  9. #9
    Mentoring Myself and Others Debbie V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blarg View Post
    I sometimes ignore poets who come in for a hit and run critique on their poem without offering any feedback of their own.
    You can pay the forum back by helping someone else in the exact same way you'd hope to be helped. That will keep the crit forum a place where people like you can come to have a good poetry experience with a wide variety of helpful people.
    These are the two reasons I have a one critique per week policy. Anything more gets too time consuming since I follow up on what I critted weeks prior.

  10. #10
    figuring it all out
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    Hi,

    Not sure if this is right place to do the Poetry Critiquing. I was told I'd have to do the critiquing of other's poetry, but it seems that you have to have 50 posts before one can do the critiquing.

    Is this right?

  11. #11
    The Anti-Magdalene KellyAssauer's Avatar
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    No, the 50 post limit is there so that you can do critiquing! It's highly recommended. This way you get a feel for the software and you get to build equity with other writers.

    The only exception to this is the poetry syw. There, you do not have a 50 post requirement, but it is still advisable to give a few crits and get a sense of what you're doing. It will really help you in the end.

    =)
    Asylum
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    Huh? What? Where am I?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver King View Post
    For Kelly, and others seeking soft asylum.
    "It is only the large subjects and the big, sweeping themes that make cheap sentences possible." -Cleo Birdwell

    Tears are peanut & helplessness.

  12. #12
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    PFFA may help some people but I found that following their idea of good poetry made my work less marketable rather than more. They seem to have a fixed idea of what is "good" rather than adapting according to the genre and goals of the writer.

  13. #13
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    That's always deadly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KellyAssauer View Post
    No, the 50 post limit is there so that you can do critiquing! It's highly recommended. This way you get a feel for the software and you get to build equity with other writers.
    I think that's a particularly good phrase, by the way.

    =)
    This one too.

  15. #15
    Engineer Sonneteer Norman D Gutter's Avatar
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    I spent a couple of years posting at PFFA. While I respect the expertise of some of the moderators and staff and better poets there, I find their type of critique tends to drive away those who have different ideas of poetic excellence—pretty much what veinglory said. It leads to sameness of style, coalescing around what I call the "house poem."

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  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Most of the pffa members and all of the moderators are downright abusive. That site exists solely to give people with a low sense of self worth an excuse to verbally abuse people in order to make them feel better about themselves.

    The moderators have a Napoleon complex. They have to be in control of every tiny thing that goes on the site. If they don't like someone, it doesn't matter if they follow all the rules, they will be ridiculed, their comments will be deleted (yes they practice censorship) and they will eventually get banned from the site where they are moved to a different section where the moderators will continue to ridicule them, giving them no option to defend themselves. All I can do is hope to god these people don't have kids. They would do a number on those poor things, traumatized them for life.

  17. #17
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Oh also, they will try to thrash anything and everything. When I was applying to MFA programs I got into the top five percent at the best school in the state and it's in the top 15 ranked MFA programs in the country, so it's not like I suck. I posted one of my better poems and since they couldn't come up with anything abusive to say about the poem itself, they said "so it's about childhood abuse, well, we don't really care, so what?" Yeah that's very constructive, thanks for that.

    Here are some of the things they've said to the less fortunate members:

    "The whole idea of 'poetic license' is generally misused and abused by beginners simply to justify ignorance and laziness, as here."
    "Your poem is badly written, grammatically unsound, needs proper proof-reading, and doesn't make sense (except maybe to you)."
    "Standard-issue beginner's self-indulgent, self-immersed prose journal-entry writing loaded with ungrounded and therefore meaningless abstractions and 31 first-person singular pronouns which makes clear that the real subject is you, a subject frankly devoid of interest."
    "This isn't poetry; it's a standard-issue beginner's journal entry expressed in tired, boring, and unimaginative language virtually devoid of anything concrete, supposedly profound meditations but actually trite and superficial thoughts of the most obvious and generic kind. The 19 first-person singular pronouns only serve to make clear the focus is entirely on the writer and to rub the reader's nose in the writer's ego. Doubtless, all this is of intense interest to you, but you fail to make it either important or interesting for anyone else...This is..."self expression" at its worst and shows us nothing other than the writer totally self-absorbed in himself/herself, staring with rapt fascination into the complex lint-laden intricacies of his/her own navel as if it were the only subject of interest in the world -- and to the writer, it doubtless is. Not so, alas, to to anyone else, since there's absolutely no reason to care anything about the writer or the writer's navel fuzz. This is writer-centered writing, in which the writer's only concern is himself/herself."

  18. #18
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    Sounds misfocussed. Concentrating on the self can go nowhere, but it can also imply the universality of experience by tying it down to concrete and familiar examples. It's not deadly in and of itself.

    There is a lot of "rules-based" thinking in poetry that people use to switch off the need to actually think about and honestly experience the poems they're reading. Rules can help people think, but they are never a substitute for thinking.

    And rules are comically inept when it comes to feeling.

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