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Passions in Poetry

Censoring Dark Poetry

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IndigoEve
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since 01-10-2003
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Etched in the illusion of time


0 posted 12-12-2003 04:52 PM       View Profile for IndigoEve   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for IndigoEve

I'm not sure if this belongs here, or even if there has already been a topic related to this, but I was wondering why there is censorship among the dark genre of poetry on this site. Once, I posted a poem related to suicide, which was neither graphic nor morally offensive, despite its aforementioned storyline, only to find that it was removed because of it's "inappropriate" content. Not all poetry on this subject is appalingly grostesque, and I myself have read (and even wrote) some I've found to be rather prolific.

I would just like to know why it may not be possible to allow certain poetry to be posted on this site on this subject matter, as long as it the details are not overly descriptive as to offend the views of some.

If this is not making any bit of sense, forgive me; it's been a frightfully long day, and I'd be happy to elaborate if it'd help in understanding.  


If I were to touch you, would you bleed a velvet river, running miracles through the sodden ground? --Moi

[This message has been edited by IndigoEve (12-12-2003 04:56 PM).]

Sunshine
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1 posted 12-12-2003 05:19 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Our guidelines state the following:  
quote:
More About Suicide

Advocating harm to a human being also includes self-harm, and posts depicting suicide or self-mutilation will not be permitted.

More than any other rule at Passions, this one seems to draw the most controversy. We believe that people who would harm themselves need professional attention, not the advice of untrained writers - no matter how well intentioned those writers might be. The recurring depression that leads to thoughts of suicide is the result of a medical condition and is treatable. Writing poetry, catharsis, and talking to our writers about "events" (which do not cause depression) is no substitute for getting that treatment.

Sadly, too few people realize the need for professional help. We believe a large part of this is because writers habitually romanticize suicide, making it seem like a "good thing." Passions will not provide a venue for this glamorization, and you'll find no "I died for love" poems or "They'll be sorry when I'm gone" stories posted in our forums. We recognize the problems faced by people, whether lost love or a feeling of insignificance, but will not condone suicide as a valid answer to those problems.


Did your poem cross this guideline?  It's very hard to write a poem of suicide, and keep it within PiP's perimeters.  

Brigid WillowKeeper
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since 08-24-2003
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OHIO IN USA


2 posted 12-15-2003 01:17 PM       View Profile for Brigid WillowKeeper   Email Brigid WillowKeeper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brigid WillowKeeper

I wrote a poem recently about self mutilation. It wasn't glorifying it, but it made a point that no one noticed the cuts. Well, I am pretty sure I posted with that poem that I haven't cut myself for a long while, and that is only a peice of my past, but it was removed. It was called: Did You Know I Bleed? If a mod has seen this, can they tell me why it was taken off?
Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
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3 posted 12-15-2003 04:43 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Hi Brigid,

You posted it in CA and I moved it to the moderators forum for review. I tried to email you but maybe it didn't get to you for some reason. Anyway, the unanimous decision of the moderating team was that, even if it did not glorify self-harm, it did present it as a viable solution for dealing with mental stress and could not be returned to the forum.

I am sorry you did not get the email.

Pete
Mad_Hatter
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4 posted 12-18-2003 01:17 AM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

Sometimes I feel that the moderators pull a poem without even taking a deeper look at something.  Fine, they're mods they can do that, but I don't think it's right.  Poetry is meant to provoke the mind and pulling poems that take a look at things in a different way isn't fair nor right in my opinion.  Now I'm not saying that this sight should advocate extreme, extreme violence or anything of that sort, but violence is a reality and censoring it does no one any good.  I've had a few poems pulled and I've been able to maturely justify them and often they get pulled because of missunderstandings about what the poem is about.  So instead of pulling them, why not ask me about it in the thread that it was posted in, so that everyone can see and understand the purpose and the point of the poem?  Talking about things maturely in public let's everyone see and understand, so that the thought that a poem may be portraying something wrong can be cleared up for all.  I just think that a poem should be given a chance before the general public before it's pulled.  Thank you.
Greeneyes
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Member Patricius
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5 posted 12-18-2003 01:40 AM       View Profile for Greeneyes   Email Greeneyes   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes

Ryan~

Lets talk about it??

There was more then just one moderator who felt your poem was over the guidelines in graphic violence....hince our reasoning in pulling the poem, did we misunderstand your write?  maybe? but we believe words have power, and your words were very powerful....

air your side, we are more then willing to listen....we do that well too...


Lauren~


~~**~~**~~**~~**~~
May the miracle of
Christmas touch your
life with special blessing

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S






[This message has been edited by Greeneyes (12-18-2003 02:05 AM).]

Alicat
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6 posted 12-18-2003 12:13 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, something which could be done, which I myself have done several times in the past, would be to send a copy of the poem to a deputy mod, senior mod, or admin prior to posting, just to get feedback on whether or not the poem in question would cross lines, or if it would be better suited for another forum. This takes little time, builds bonds, and demonstrates a care for these blue pages Ron has graced us with.

Just a thought.
Alicat
Mad_Hatter
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7 posted 12-18-2003 05:39 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

I don't understand how the poem is graphic at all, if the poem was understood correctly it's fairly evident that no one dies at all.  You can pull my poem if you so desire, but I keep my strong stance that there was nothing terribly innapropriate about it.  I'd be glad to analyze the poem for you, just to prove my point.
Not A Poet
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8 posted 12-18-2003 06:59 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Poems don't get removed just because one moderator failed to glean the writer's true meaning. It takes a consensus of moderator opinions to do that. If the whole group fails to see the writer's viewpoint then maybe it is the writer's fault for making it too obscure, to the point that what comes through as obvious is also in violation of the guidelines. If that is what the moderators see then many other readers are likely to see the same thing.

At that point, the writer's intent is irrelevant. The only way to get the proper point across is to rewrite the poem in a more understandable form.
Mad_Hatter
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9 posted 12-18-2003 08:16 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

A writers intent is never irrelivent, it is the poem, of course people can interpret it how they like, but when the vision is scewed by people calling it innapropriate, I believe I am entitled to become offended.  Perhaps the general public is not so intent on making the poem seem as though it is against the rules.  A community is about sharing, not supressing.
Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


10 posted 12-18-2003 08:44 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

...share the murder.
...share the hatred.
...share the racism.
...share the bigotry.
...share the...

not all things are good to be shared.

how's this:

...share pornography with children.
...share explicatives with children.
...share suicidal urges with children.
...share mutilation with children.

sometimes, when the intent is from a more benevolent motive, it's no longer "suppression." rather, call it "protection."

the reasons we do the things we do aren't all that complicated. nor are they biased; we don't pull poems simply because we don't liek them or don't understand them. we pull them because a) we want a comfortable environment in which the largest amount of people can enjoy themselves (i assume you are one, as you're fighting to be allowed to post "what you will" - there are many places you can do that. that you haven't tells me you like the way things operate here... they operate like that specifically because this kind of effort is put into this site by a good many people.) b) because we believe that while some of us may not believe children (who do visit this site frequently) are hurt by 'provacative' posts, we do all seem to believe that we don't have the right to make others' choices for them like that. a parent (or any person) has the unique comfort in knowing that they have a measure of control over the type of content they can expect when they open up a post here, based on where it is located in the forums and the philosophy which guides not only we as moderators, but most of the members who choose to stick around and become part of a rather large family.

Mad_Hatter
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11 posted 12-18-2003 09:36 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

...share the murder.
...share the hatred.
...share the racism.
...share the bigotry.
...share the...

not all things are good to be shared.

how's this:

...share pornography with children.
...share explicatives with children.
...share suicidal urges with children.
...share mutilation with children.

How is this relevant?  My poem does not fall under any in my opinion.  It's fairly obvious that you don't want to share those types of things with children and that's not what I'm suggesting, I'm suggesting we let people decide for themselves, that is (as far as I'm concerned) the way a community works.  If my poem were left there and it offended anyone, I would be more than happy to have it removed.  I however find the removal of this particular poem very unnecessary.  You are enforcing your ideals and now I am suggesting mine, there's nothing innapropriate about that poem.
Sunshine
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12 posted 12-19-2003 09:05 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

MadHatter, with all due respect, I went back to your pulled poem and read it again, with your thoughts in my head that there was nothing inappropriate about it.  After a second, and third read, this came to mind:
quote:
The BIG Rules

* A personal attack against another individual, no matter how warranted or justified, is unacceptable

* Profanity is unacceptable (and disguising it with asterisks won't make it any more acceptable)

* Sensationalistic sex and violence is unacceptable

* Advocating harm to a human being (including self-harm) is unacceptable


I would warrant a guess that these were the very rules which were crossed when you posted your poem, and thus, the reason that it was pulled.
Not A Poet
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since 11-03-1999
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13 posted 12-19-2003 12:25 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

quote:
If my poem were left there and it offended anyone, I would be more than happy to have it removed.


It offended the whole moderator team. They do fall under the category of "anyone." You should be "more than happy" that it was removed.
Mad_Hatter
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since 06-29-2003
Posts 397
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14 posted 12-19-2003 04:12 PM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

I realize now, this is a battle I won't win, because apparently the "moderator team" is extraordinarily closed minded.  When I was talking about people getting offened, I realized you had already been offended by my terrible poem, I was referring to the rest of the community (I thought that was pretty obvious).  So leave my poem pulled if that's what you want, but rest knowing that you're one step closer to losing another poet who has something to offer this community.  Thank you all for your time.
Christopher
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Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


15 posted 12-19-2003 05:18 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

quote:
I was referring to the rest of the community (I thought that was pretty obvious).
Take a peek at the moderator team... it IS the rest of the community. We don't step outside Passions to find moderators. All moderators have been and continue to be members, ergo, "the rest of the community." Included in that equation are both Senior and Deputy Moderators. Of the senior types, there are only a few - BUT, of the Deputy type (the type that effectively make things work on a daily basis) there are many. They are chosen by several criteria, but of a necessity, diversity is part of that. We don't choose people based on their ideals matching a pre-defined, narrow focus. Nope, we're smarter than that - we try to get as wide of a perspective as we can through various beliefs, backgrounds, genders, what have you.
quote:
So leave my poem pulled if that's what you want, but rest knowing that you're one step closer to losing another poet who has something to offer this community.
Ringo
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16 posted 12-19-2003 06:58 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

-------------------------------------------
So leave my poem pulled if that's what you want, but rest knowing that you're one step closer to losing another poet who has something to offer this community.
--------------------------------------------

Mad Hatter- It would be a good thing if the melodramatics were saved for a more appropriate forum. There have been more poets than you who have had their writing questioned by the mod staff... myself included. As a matter of fact,I have been chastised more gthan once because of what I had written and the way I chose to share my views with this community. I accept that I had broken the rules that were very clearly stated and that I had agreed to follow when I became a member here, and that the mods had done what they had done, NOT to belittle me, my writing, or my views on life, but rather strictly to enforce those rules that we are all required to follow... including all of the mods, and the administrators, and even Ron himself.
There have also been members who have been suspended from the site, and even members who have been expelled from posting on this site permenantly because they chose to consistantly ignore the rules that they agreed to follow... even after repeated warnings from the mod staff.
I may or may not have read the poem that you are discussing, because it was pulled, however I know many of the mods and can tell you that they are among the most tolerant, and open minded people that you will find. There are mods that have WIDELY divergent views of life, and what is right, however, the one thing that they can all agree on is that the rules must be followed by everyone.
If you feel that following the rules that you agreed to is something that is going to require you to take your poetry else where, then I will wish you luck in your future endeavors, and will miss your writing when you have gone.

We are all equal but we’re individually different
and able to reach the impossible if we try.

Mad_Hatter
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Posts 397
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17 posted 12-20-2003 02:32 AM       View Profile for Mad_Hatter   Email Mad_Hatter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mad_Hatter

I'm not leaving and I'm not debating anymore.  I think this disagreement was a healthy thing and I've said what I needed to say and that's that.  I hold no grudges and I respect that the mods are just doing their jobs, but as a member of this community so am I.  So it's all good now, what's done is done and I'm over it.  Thank you for listening.
Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


18 posted 12-20-2003 09:49 AM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

For what it's worth, it's appreciated that you brought your questions/comments forward. Discussion is always a good thing.
thinktwice
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since 12-23-2003
Posts 125
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19 posted 12-23-2003 11:28 AM       View Profile for thinktwice   Email thinktwice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for thinktwice

The following is my opinion.

Poetry is art. To change, sligtly modify or censor changes the meaning intended by the creator of the writing.

Now bare in mind that we did agree to a policy of clean language and whatnot. This however almost negates the entire purpose for "dark poetry". The purpose, in my mind, is to allow people to share emotions and, whether objective or subjective, in complete freedom.

If you fear your poetry might be edited or even removed, i would suggest putting on another web-site that is less "family friendly". One could even pleace a link to the poem, rather than writing the whole thing out only to have it taken away.

I don't intend to bash this site, in fact i have no thought of contempt for it at all.
I am merely giving some suggestions to a very relevant question.


-Adam

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
   -Finger Eleven
Alicat
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Coastal Texas


20 posted 12-23-2003 12:49 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Surpisingly, dark poetry, poetry of the macabre, and other nuances, can be written perfectly well without expletives. As one English teacher of mine once put it: Profanity is used by those who've yet to master their native language.

However, I do see a distinction between Dark poetry and Cathartic poetry, a distinction which I realize not all share or believe in, instead thinking that to write a dark piece is to be cathartic, and vice versa. But even with dark cathartic poetry, profanity is not needed to convey a point, a meaning, a message...unless, of course, one's grasp of their native language is lacking.

But that's just my view.
Local Parasite
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21 posted 12-23-2003 01:22 PM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

Alicat -

Thanks for saying what I was going to say.  

I'd encourage anyone to check out the poetry of bsquirrel if you're curious about how poetry can be dark and not cathartic---he's the best dark poet I've read on this site, and almost never contaminates his work with personal issues.  He's worth a smart search.

Just my opinion of course, for what it's worth.
thinktwice
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since 12-23-2003
Posts 125
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22 posted 12-23-2003 01:39 PM       View Profile for thinktwice   Email thinktwice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for thinktwice

-alicat

Well said. However, the forum is entitled "dark poetry". Not "dark cathartic poetry".
I agree with the point that people can write poetry without profanity or with "clean" language in general. This does not address the overall issue though. or at least the issue i am raising. The question i have is whether or not changing or editing a piece of art (poetry is a form of art) will retract some of the meaning.
Would the provacative message and celebration of beauty found in the Statue of David be changed if someone were to put clothes on him? Yes we know the message and what is contained underneath the clothing, but it takes away from the masterpiece and awe one gets from such art.

Whether or not a poem is to racy, plain rude or blatentley obscene as far as content. (I'm speaking of course to the references of suicide and light-heavy uses of profanity.) It is still art and should be treated so. What is good art? There is no such thing. To each person it holds different meaning whether positive or negative.

Like i said before, we did comply with policy agreement when we became members here. However, the term "dark poetry" implies one can post something a bit more racy. If there is confusion, the title should be changed or th administration should post a general notification defining what they mean by "dark poetry".


Adam

"beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
   -Finger Eleven
Ron
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23 posted 12-23-2003 03:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

The last time I looked at Webster's, the terms dark and racy weren't interchangeable. Nor does one even imply the other.

The Internet is a big place. If you want Disney, you don't go to Hustler. If you want Hustler, you would be ill advised to go to Disney. We're not Disney, but neither are we Hustler. For many artists, we provide a very appropriate (and appreciative) audience, but we're certainly not all things to all people, nor do we want to be. If an artist doesn't like our venue, there are many others on the 'Net from which to choose.

Having said that, there's very little and perhaps nothing that can't be explored responsibly within our Guidelines. The keyword in that sentence is responsibly. Frankly, if a writer has the skill to avoid cliché and sensationalism while still being racy (and profanity is the ultimate cliché), we're probably buying their work at the bookstore rather than finding it on the Internet. For most, being offensive is simply a poor substitute for good writing.

BTW, a link to unsuitable material will be removed just as quickly as unsuitable material. Disclaimers and links can't turn poor writing into good.
Alicat
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Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


24 posted 12-23-2003 03:22 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Having another edit a piece can indeed diminish the impact. That's where responsibility comes in, for the author to know the target audience. This doesn't mean they stop writing for themselves...just that more care is taken to present the work in the best possible light. Granted, here, there's some indication of who might read and possibly reply, but that doesn't take into account the myriad of guests who simply read. If in doubt, at the bottom of most pages is a very colorful icon. Click it to see statistics for page views from unique ip addresses. The total hits may surprise you.

The point being, how are you being seen? What opinion do they have not just of what is written, but also of who did the writing? How will that opinion relfect back onto the owner, coder and maintainer of this site, along with the parent site (netpoets)? Will parents allow their children to read here? Will members allow their children to read here? These are the questions we should ask ourselves prior to clicking the almighty Submit button.
 
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