[Bards] An Idea

iainmacc at juno.com iainmacc at juno.com
Sat Aug 4 09:20:24 PDT 2001

On Sat, 04 Aug 2001 09:57:28 -0500 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

        I agree, it is an excellent idea. However, I wonder how useful it
would be to someone in my position.
        Nearly all of the work I am proud of comes from I don't know
where and demands entrance to my skull. It informs me in no uncertain
terms that I will get no sleep, no food, no peace of mind until I write
it down.
        The result of this is that I know virtually nothing about
"technique" when it comes to writing poetry or lyrics. I write down what
I hear in my head, and check it by two criteria: a) Does it flow
smoothly, and b) Can it evoke in others the sequence of emotions that I
felt when I first "heard" it?
        I was an actor and a singer for over a decade befoe I ever wrote.
To a large degree, I don't care about whether the piece shows "good
technique", I only care whether it moves the audience. However, it would
be very useful if someone could tell me that a particular piece would
grab an audience or fail to do so, and then tell me WHY this is so.

> 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,

        Yes, yes yes! Constructive criticism is probably the most
valuable resource a writer or performer can have, and it is most
definitely a skill, not just a talent.

                      Many thanks,

                      Iain MacCrimmon

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