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Passions in Poetry

Attack?

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Systematic Decay
Senior Member
since 09-15-99
Posts 1312
That place with padded walls a


0 posted 11-13-1999 12:10 PM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

I must ask, what is everyone's thought as to what an attack, either personal or on ones work, consists of? Is it namecalling? Saying the poem is "trash" or that it sucks with no explanation? I would really like to know, because maybe I am overreacting in that other post over there in the Alley- Thank you.

BTW, I hope this is the right forum for this...

------------------
Thinking is just what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their predjudices.


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


1 posted 11-13-1999 08:37 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, this is the dictionary definition of attack:

Main Entry: 1atĚtack
Pronunciation: &-'tak
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle French attaquer, from (assumed) Old Italian estaccare to attach, from stacca stake, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English staca
Date: 1600
transitive senses
1 : to set upon or work against forcefully
2 : to assail with unfriendly or bitter words
3 : to begin to affect or to act on injuriously
4 : to set to work on
5 : to threaten (a piece in chess) with immediate capture
intransitive senses : to make an attack
- atĚtackĚer noun
synonyms ATTACK, ASSAIL, ASSAULT, BOMBARD, STORM mean to make an onslaught upon. ATTACK implies taking the initiative in a struggle . ASSAIL implies attempting to break down resistance by repeated blows or shots . ASSAULT suggests a direct attempt to overpower by suddenness and violence of onslaught . BOMBARD applies to attacking with bombs or shells . STORM implies attempting to break into a defended position .

It seems to me that the post you are referring to was an attack (see number 2) on the piece itself but it was not an attack on the person (two different things). I don't think attacking a piece of work is wrong (we all do it when it comes to published works, don't we?). The question, again, is not whether it constitutes an attack or not but what are the grounds of civility at this site. For that person, the piece itself crossed the line; for you, the response crossed the line. But no one here has yet to explain to me (to my satisfaction anyway) what those lines are. Not one person has come forward with a set of guidelines to determine them. Everybody wants, it seems to me, to be content with "I know it when I see it" argument.

This is a very dangerous position if you ask me.

Next, I'll give you my proposed set of guidelines. They are very general but they're a start.

Brad
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


2 posted 11-13-1999 11:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I just wanted to add that I am not talking about general guidelines to Passions itself. We already have those. I am talking about ways of presenting yourself critically to someone regarding any particular topic. I want to stress the difference between 'attacking' a poem or a story and 'attacking' a person. The former should be allowed (within the context of this site's general guidelines) and the latter should never be allowed. They are useless and unsupportable anyway.

Just an opinion,
Brad
Systematic Decay
Senior Member
since 09-15-99
Posts 1312
That place with padded walls a


3 posted 11-14-1999 08:51 PM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

I don't think attacking a piece should be allowed- by attacking I mean making a judgement without giving any reasons, like calling something trash, bottome line, no debate.

------------------
Thinking is just what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their predjudices.


Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


4 posted 11-14-1999 11:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

bottom line? No debate? SD, this is Brad you're talking to (Did you forget?)

At what point do we call any particular criticism 'trash talk'? Do we ban that word along with profanity? Criticism of any particular poem is always going to ruffle some feathers as is any particular theme. There's plenty of stuff here that I don't like that's in the opposite direction; it's too nice. Should I be banned for trying to make my point (as politely as I can but, of course, I still get into trouble occasionally-- the only difference as you mention is I do try to explain my point)?

The controversy is not going to end with one story (that should be obvious by now) but it seems to me that as long as people are willing to keep it within the context of any particular poem, I say okay. I've just started reading some of your examples at the Alley and much of that seems to have moved into personal mode. The 'trash' comment was not. Aren't you arguing that if you find something offensive, it should not be discussed? That you should keep your mouth shut: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it" -- well, I disagree with that cliche. We need more talk. We need more discussion. Civility should be strived for. Politeness should be strived for. But, in the end, what we need, in my opinion, is trying to get more people to explain themselves.

If you see a bad movie, don't you say so? If you read a bad book, don't you think you can say that? What is the difference in this forum? It is a piece of art and as long as it is in a semi-public forum, a reader should have the ability to comment negatively (and as long at they follow the general guidelines already mentioned).

Point: If someone called what I write trash (and they have, they have ), I ask them for reasons. If they don't respond, I can choose to disregard that statement -- because to be quite honest I see that comment as someone still stuck in the chains of a particular culture; the unwillingness to speak is a weakness in my book. If you believe in your poem, if you believe in your comment, you can back it up. If you can't, maybe you should think about it. Contrary to certain well known documents, nothing is self-evident.

Does everyone have a 'right' to an opinion? Yes. But some opinions are more persuasive than others. If you're opinion is unpersuasive, it is useless for me and I can ignore it.

This site is growing too fast and with that speed, more debate will ensue as to the nature of this site and what is good for the most people here. I have no interest in most of the debates already presented but I do have an interest when people start making suggestions that, in my opinion, already go beyond the stated guidelines of this site.

My point is lets start discussing the cultural value system that tells me one: no debate and two: that a poem is trash without explaining that EITHER. Doesn't it go both ways?

Why don't we stop using imperatives altogether (except Ron) and start asking more questions? Let's start finding out about each other (and in the process develop thoughts that maybe people haven't thought before).

Anything less doesn't solve the problem; it just hides it -- to resurface again and again and again . . .

No more imperatives. More questions. (and I'm not saying we should ban imperatives either. )

To say 'no debate' is just fightin' words in my book.
Brad
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


5 posted 11-15-1999 06:59 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Brad, what you've said here is just plain TRASH! hehehe Just kidding. LOL... I actually agree with every word of it.... but don't ask me why.... lol at myself... sorry

I guess I'm tired of thinking so hard for a while. Where did all those Justins go anyway? Think I'll go look for some fun! hehehe

Seriously, Brad, thanks for your efforts to try to set forth some guidelines.

And, SD, it's certainly a pleasure to see a teen with your fortitude and determination and ability to discern the value of debate. Keep that mind open!!

-doreen
Systematic Decay
Senior Member
since 09-15-99
Posts 1312
That place with padded walls a


6 posted 11-17-1999 09:39 PM       View Profile for Systematic Decay   Email Systematic Decay   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Systematic Decay

Brad, I am all for criticism...in a constructive non-name calling way. I absolutely hate the cliche of "If you can't say anything nice...." However, if what you have to say is simply name-calling, I think it is worth the time to think your comment through, and if you absolutely must call names, at least back it up with some reasons.

That is MHO.

------------------
Thinking is just what a great many people think they are doing when they are merely rearranging their predjudices.


Marilyn
Member Elite
since 09-26-1999
Posts 2646
Ontario, Canada


7 posted 11-18-1999 12:08 AM       View Profile for Marilyn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marilyn

I to agree with what Brad has said here. Comunication is the key, as long as that communication is done respectfully. I have seen way to many (IMHO) words thrown around here with no thought put behind them. Instant reactions acted upon creating this state of unrest.

I am guilty of this myself and I am ashamed of my behavor. I reacted badly to a statement Brad made on my poetry and I apologize. That happened when I first came to this site, I have no excuses for my outburst and now I am very embarrassed that I reacted that way.

I just wish we could let this dog lie. Let's stop kicking it and more on to more creative ventures.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 11-18-1999 03:26 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

SD,
I think we agree here. The only difference is I'm talking about what happens after a post has been made and you're talking about what a person should do when they post.

Marilyn,
You wanna bring that thing up again? Actually, your response didn't strike me as particularly vehement. My mistake there was in not realizing that I had said what I had said. I was talking about generalizations in poetry and still believe that they lessen the impact in any particular poem. Somehow, it came off as if I were saying you weren't saying anything -- which is a pretty silly statement if you think about it. Getting upset when someone actually tries to be critical of a poem is part of the game as I see it (I've been there). Some people have mentioned that poets have to 'toughen up' a bit because, well, the nature of the act itself is going to invite criticism. I admit a certain sympathy with that position. The only thing I don't like (not only because it's rude but because there's no way anybody can really judge a person through his or her poetry) are personal attacks.

Brad
jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


9 posted 11-18-1999 09:41 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

I would like to introduce a slightly different spin to Ms. Decay's question. An attack on our person (physically or verbally) or our poetry provides us with an excellent opportunity to defend ourselves or our work. While practicing Tae Kwon Do I LOVED facing the attackers (non-thinkers) who, very often, opened themselves up to a lesson in humility.

The same, I believe, is true of an arbitrary attack on our writing. A reasoned defense exposes the dumba** everytime. I would suggest that you assume (such an ugly word!) that some idiot is going to take a pot shot at your work and be prepared to defend it.

Some discernment, however, is in order. Take Brad, for example. While he is often abrasive in his criticism of our poetry, he often expresses a constructive honesty that others may feel too inhibited to offer. This is why I gladly invite his criticism. While I may not agree with it, it provides me with a sense of how other thinking people may perceive my work and, therefore, improves my poetry.

Its natural to be upset with someone who calls your work "trash". But I think those people, in a way, provide us with an excellent opportunity, helping us become better writers by, first, preparing us to defend our work and, second (a result of the first), bolstering our confidence in our own powers of expression.

Just my opinion. Any thoughts?

------------------
Jim

"If I rest, I rust." -Martin Luther

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


10 posted 11-18-1999 06:54 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Abrasive? Me?

Geez, what kind of reputation do I have around here? All I do is read a poem and if it doesn't immediately grab me, stop and try to think of something that can give the poet a different direction. Usually, it's something like, "What can I say about this poem?" "Well, it's difficult because I don't think or see what's happening here or that particular phrase stands out as overdone or the theme has not been done in a particularly original way." The moment the thought pops in my head, I start writing. If it reminds me of something else, I say it does.

No one should ever think that I have any particular authority here; I just write what I think and that changes all the time. Disagreeing with me is a good thing (because it helps me as well).

The best advice I ever received was from a guy who seemed a little annoyed with actually saying it (perhaps because he thought I was smarter than I am ), "You need to read more and you need to write more." I've tried to follow that advice. Furthermore, I've found that reading critically actually has helped my writing. I'll be honest. No one knows how happy I am when I read a poem here or anywhere else that just sings to me. Nor does anyone quite understand, perhaps, the joy of getting a positive comment when you expect nothing but negatives. Only a critical approach can do that.

But I could be wrong.
Brad
 
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