wow this thread suddenly exploded!
I am someone that speaks my mind, in real life as well as in virtual reality. I believe in truthes.
Paula: I dont care where the hard headed women hail from, if I get into a friendly discussion with them, I might well be able to change their minds. If I dont then I will have made them question their thinking, and therefore be more sure of their minds. Either way it is a useful process, if done constructively, and politely! That is the point of discussion and debate.
Wayoutwalt: cliques wherever they occur in life have the same effect. By their very nature they exclude and alienate. I cannot stand them.
Kaile: I will remember your name, and give honest opinions where I have something worthy to say. but, after the balance of this thread, if I do have something negative, I will personally email it so that you know who it has come from, you can reply to tell me to mind my own business, and it is not in open forum for the more sensetive to be offended by. I dont want to be seen as an ogre.
Not A Poet: Well said sir. I am a novice, and I posted to CA, and as a result, from many helpful posts, I was able to taylor a piece that really had potential until I was completely satisfied with it. That is a rarity for a poem for me, to have it achieve a point where I say "that is asperfect as I can make it"... Proves that anyone can benefit from CA
Dopey_Dope. A like mind. wonderful!
Janet marie: I have posted a couple in adult, one in Dark passions and one in CA. I dont post in open at present because I feel either the topics have been suited to other forums better, or I have wanted the additional critique.
I actually find if I am short of time, I prefer to read the smaller forums rather than open, because there is just too much bulk in open to wander through. I venture into open when I have a lot of time on my hands.
You raise some excellent points in your post. It is pointless to criticise the meter, rhythm and rhyme in a piece of free verse, as there is not meant to be any. if someone doesnt consider free verse poetry, then it is their loss and not the writiers. Personally I believe a poem should have SOME structure, even if it is not regular, flowing or rigid. Even if it is only one section of a long piece, or the way the sentences are writtten. I have seen some free verse that is basically a piece of prose randomly truncated into pretty line lengths for no apparent reason, or it seems to me at least. My thought to that is. "why not write a very good piece of prose instead of making it into a completely unstructured piece of poetry". I do consider a good piece of prose to be as good as a good piece of poetry, and find the need to convert prose to free verse unnecessary. It is as if the writer doesnt realise the value of prose and thinks "I have to be a poet". That is a comletely personal opinion I hasten to add.
The main thing I do agree with is the "eye of the beholder". it is true in poetry more than in any other written medium I think.
I like the idea of people asking for criticism. It would certainly mean that people could be more confident in offering suggestions on how a piece might be improved. New poets do learn from reading other works, but they learn more by being told when they are going wrong. Let me use an analogy. No qualified driver likes a passenger who critiques, but anyone learning doenst want to learn just by watching someone else. they want to get their hands on the wheel... but they also want to be told by their instructor where they are going wrong as well as where they are going right. I guess we just need to know before critiquing whether they want an instructor, or someone to appreciate the view from the car window when they are taken on a ride to the country.
Sorrowmystress: I think all poets write from the heart. I certainly do. Most of the writing I do is when i am in love or in pain, and I do use it to express emotion. I note the fact that criticism can deflate and diminish the emotion in the piece as far as the writer is concerned. A good piece of critique as far as I am concerned is one that points out the good as well as the bad. It says "I love this, it said this and I get all of this, but I didnt understand this bit...." If there is noting worthy of a positive word in a poem, then it is not worth commenting on at all.
I can see however that there are times when it is wrong to critique at all, and I have at times in life, not only in poetry, offered advice when all that was needed was either support, sympathy or praise. I guess the point of the original post was for me to establish in my mind where those times and lines are drawn in this particular environmant.
Tony: Nothing is ever as simple as that, although, until I learn a little more about individual poets, it is a good rule of thumb. I will be asking for critique when I do post in open, so people know to give improvements as well as praise. Unless I am completely sure of the situation, I will confine critique to CA and poetry workshop.
many thanks to all replies to this thread, it has really helped me to feel that I can post with confidence, without worrying about whether I am going to offend.