[Bards] An Idea

Fitzmorgan at cs.com Fitzmorgan at cs.com
Sat Aug 4 08:49:40 PDT 2001

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
In a message dated 8/4/01 8:04:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
gemartt at mail.utexas.edu writes:

> Brothers & Sisters,
> I wish to commend Robert Fitzmorgan for an excellent idea!  Anything we can
> do to promote the art of poetry is a worthy effort, in my
> opinion.   Publishing some poetic guidelines could be very helpful, not
> only to our members, to anyone interested in this art.  We could also
> include a list of links for more information.   I'm sure we could find
> poets (on & off this list) would also be glad to contribute to this project.
> Constructive criticism can certainly be another way of helping an artist
> grow.  However I would also add that "learning how to give constructive
> criticism" should also be a topic for consideration.  Constructive
> criticism is not the same thing as saying whether one likes a poem, or
> not.  It is a carefully considered response - designed to help the artist -
> and hopefully to encourage them.
>                                  Myself as Witness,

       I completely agree.  For this to work we would need to give
instruction on how to give and receive constructive criticism.  While it's
nice to hear 20 people say they loved your poem, it won't improve your poetry
any.  On the other side, few people will continue to submit work for
criticism if it's being savaged in a nasty way.
       Being known as a poet I sometimes have new poets bring me something
they have written and ask me for advice and comment.  This always makes me
nervous because I don't know if they really want constructive comment on ways
they can improve their poem or if they just want me to say nice things about
their poem.  You improve your skills as a poet, or as anything else, buy
emphasizing the things you do well and cutting away the things you are doing
poorly.  Any really useful criticism will need to include pointing out the
things you could be doing better.  The people submitting need to be clear if
they want constructive criticism, or just want people to say nice things
about their work.  The people giving commentary need to be sensitive to the
feelings of the writer.


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