Member Rara Avis
Somewhere... out there...
Considering all of the apparent confusion and misunderstanding that have been taking place recently, I thought if might be helpful to discuss your views on what a critique is or should be.
Do you welcome critiques of your poetry?
If not, why not? If so, why?
If you have a critique message, what does it say?
Does it make clear what you would like to see in a critique?
What do you expect from a critique?
Are there specific points that are more interesting or important to you than others?
If so, what are these specific points?
Why are they important to you?
This is something that I thought was rather interesting, so I thought I'd share it...just a little history about the word and it's usage.
"Usage Note: Critique has been used as a verb meaning ďto review or discuss criticallyĒ since the 18th century, but lately this usage has gained much wider currency, in part because the verb criticize, once neutral between praise and censure, is now mainly used in a negative sense. But this use of critique is still regarded by many as pretentious jargon, although resistance appears to be weakening. In our 1997 ballot, 41 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the sentence As mock inquisitors grill him, top aides take notes and critique the answers with the President afterward. Ten years earlier, 69 percent disapproved of this same sentence. Resistance is still high when a person is critiqued: 60 percent of the Usage Panel rejects its use in the sentence Students are taught how to do a business plan and then are critiqued on it. Thus, it may be preferable to avoid this word. There is no exact synonym, but in most contexts one can usually substitute go over, review, or analyze. ∑Note, however, that critique is widely accepted as a noun in a neutral context; 86 percent of the Panel approved of its use in the sentence The committee gave the report a thorough critique and found it both informed and intelligent."
Source: The American Heritageģ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The thing that I found most interesting about the above explanation, was the fact that the sentences that the Usage Panel most rejected were the ones that referred to a critique directed more at an individual than a 'thing'. This way of thinking follows right along with the Passions philosophy of directing the critique at the poem and not the poet. This is sometimes a fine line with poetry, because often the poem is a 'part of' or an 'extention of' the poet, and therefore it is difficult for the poet to not take the critique personally. This being the reason for having the option of welcoming critiques or not.
Anyway...tell me what you think? I'd really like to know what your opinions are and perhaps this will help us all to understand one another better and to know a little more about what each of us is or is not comfortable with.
I would ask that you be careful to keep your comments directed at the subject matter and not at any specific situations or members. Your cooperation will be very much appreciated.