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poetinahat
05-05-2006, 06:57 PM
Okay, so I send a friend three of my poems -- thought she might be interested.

She writes back, saying she's sent them on to a friend who's a published poet, with a promise of feedback. What an opportunity!

Feedback comes back:

I like them, especially x. Well done.
Here are three of mine. Send feedback.
(poems follow)
Plus a bit about how she also works in other media. She's even got a nom de plume.

Unfortunately, I struggle to find anything good to say about her poems beyond 'very positive'. They're immature in concept and poorly executed: clumsy rhyme, sloppy meter ('sloppy' is perhaps generous), no structure. Even the spelling is poor. Really, maybe fifth-grade stuff. Just amazing.

I've wasted an hour trying to write a reply that is honest, but says something good. I think I'll have to chat with my friend first: "Are you sure she's published? How old is she?"

What a disappointment. What a dilemma.

And what a testament to our own community and the poets here.

P.H.Delarran
05-05-2006, 07:04 PM
better you than me. just kidding. i've had similar situations. there's always something you can say that will be received as a compliment. take the topic of one of the poems and sidetrack it to a personal anecdote perhaps or pleasant memory.."reminds me of blank" . or, "i'm sure many people will enjoy those poems" blah blah..you get it. good luck.
anyway, you don't need no stinkin' critique from her, you have us! ;)

KTC
05-05-2006, 07:05 PM
I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, Poet. Wish I had some advice for you. If it's any help "I like them, especially x. Well done" doesn't exactly qualify as feedback. Is that what she said, or did you just condense it for the post? I would say that you don't owe her a lot, if this was all she said in response to your poems.

rich
05-05-2006, 07:11 PM
Dear .........,

I like your poems, but I'm new at this and wouldn't presume to critique somebody elses work. Maybe sometime in the future when I feel I can comment properly.

Poet

poetinahat
05-05-2006, 07:12 PM
anyway, you don't need no stinkin' critique from her, you have us! ;)
And I hope you know how much I appreciate that. You all make me want to be better, and you help me do it.

poetinahat
05-05-2006, 07:14 PM
Is that what she said, or did you just condense it for the post? I would say that you don't owe her a lot, if this was all she said in response to your poems.
That is what she said. Verbatim. (except replace 'x' with 'Yells and Echoes')

P.H.Delarran
05-05-2006, 07:17 PM
that was her response to Yells and Echoes? is she on drugs? pffffftt..i wouldn't even worry about your response then. give her what she gave you.

Sarita
05-05-2006, 07:20 PM
I like how Rich phrased it. Basically you're giving her what she gave you (an "I like it").

rich
05-05-2006, 07:22 PM
Poet wrote: She writes back, saying she's sent them on to a friend who's a published poet, with a promise of feedback. What an opportunity!

There's published, and there's published. I've known "poets" who've been sending out crap for years. If you send out enough crap, some will find their way into some pub or another.

KTC
05-05-2006, 07:32 PM
I hate to agree with a curmudgeon (-; but I too agree with Rich's response. Says everything and nothing all at once. Eloquent, Rich.

Pat~
05-05-2006, 07:35 PM
What a disappointment. But consider this...if she's that poor of a poet, she may not truly know how to critique poetry (as evidenced by her own work). I'd be as curious as all get out to know the who, where, when (and why) of her publication experience. I bet she'd be flattered if you asked for a copy of one of her published pieces...

veinglory
05-05-2006, 07:35 PM
At that point I would do a little google--perhaos to find that 'published' is poetry.com or some such--and lose interest in continuing the dialogue. (Or disover she was published in the New Yorker and various exclusive literary mags and change my perspective--but I doubt it)

rich
05-05-2006, 08:04 PM
What a disappointment. But consider this...if she's that poor of a poet, she may not truly know how to critique poetry (as evidenced by her own work). I'd be as curious as all get out to know the who, where, when (and why) of her publication experience. I bet she'd be flattered if you asked for a copy of one of her published pieces...

Tsk, tsk--that would surely put him deeper into the hole he's trying to get out of.

Pat~
05-05-2006, 08:16 PM
If she asked, he could just tell her he learned alot from it. ;)

ddgryphon
05-05-2006, 08:38 PM
It is always rewarding and instructive to exchange work with other poets. Yours have been no exception and I thank you for having sent them along with your comments. I wish you continued success.

Sincerely,

. . .

Bret
05-05-2006, 09:00 PM
How diplomatic dd! If I'd had you to do my talking for me, I'd have earned far less black eyes.

It reminds me of the dread I experience at people's houses where I'm introduced to someone who says

"Bret is a poet. He won a contest and had some poems published.

Bret, Carol writes poetry too. Would you like to see some?"

and out come the spiral notebooks and the "Tell me what you think of this" etc. Ugh!

I'd go with dd on this.

PattiTheWicked
05-05-2006, 10:05 PM
I think it's rather nice that you didn't write back and say "Glad you liked my poems. Yours suck. Have a lovely day."

kdnxdr
05-05-2006, 10:42 PM
Yikes! What a pickle!

Cassie88
05-05-2006, 11:30 PM
remember that post about how to insult someone politely? Maybe there's a few pointers in that thread. I have a friend who books acts for the club, Don't Tell Mama, in NYC. Whenever a singer asks him how he liked their act and he didn't... he says things like, "Nobody can sing a song like you can!" "Now that's what I call singing a song!" Actually, he has a slew of these type lines. I can't remember all of them.

"Now that's what I call a poem!"

poetinahat
05-07-2006, 04:47 PM
Thank you, all. I was being careful -- didn't want to hurt my friend's feelings either (she conected us).

So, I just wrote back, said 'Thanks for sharing' and left it at that.

mkcbunny
05-08-2006, 12:47 AM
Thank you, all. I was being careful -- didn't want to hurt my friend's feelings either (she conected us).

So, I just wrote back, said 'Thanks for sharing' and left it at that.
That's what I was going to suggest. With so few words in her "critique," you're under no obligation to do more than the same in return.

This reminded me of a story:
Long ago, when I was an art student, a friend of mine gave her famous uncle [also an artist] one of her drawings for his birthday. He promptly signed it and returned it to her.