About workshops

Workshops on Neopoet are groups that meet for a certain period of time to focus on a certain aspect of poetry. Each workshop participant is asked to critique all the other poems submitted into a workshop. A workshop leader helps coordinate -- they set the agenda, give participants feedback on whether their submissions and critique are at they level expected of them, and after the workshop is over, give feedback to participants. 

To join a workshop, first find one that is of interest to you. Once you have found the right workshop (and verified that it is open -- you can find this out in the description below), you can apply to join the workshop.


Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

Critique and Criticism

Status: 
Program description/goal: 

Description: Analysis of "critique"

Leader: W. H. Snow
Moderator(s): Alidzidan, Rula

Objectives: To leave the participants with a better understanding of what and how the poet critiques.

Level of expertise: Open to all

Subject matter: Critique.

Length: 
25 days
Number of participants (limit): 
15 people
Skill level: 
Date: 
Sunday, April 5, 2015 to Thursday, April 30, 2015
Short description: 
Criticism is NeoPoet's life's blood. Without we adequately analyze and help the poet's who come to us we fail at our intentions.

Comments

This is a difficult area for me - I lack the confidence to critique other peoples poems, I don't feel educated enough to be accurate in my assessment. ( I wouldn't want to spoil a perfectly good poem due to bad advice ) Some pointers would be useful, maybe it would boost my confidence and help me to be of use to others.

Love Mand xxxx

P.s I also have lots of questions!

xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

ladies :)

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

I'm signing in. Add my name please.

Alid

I have already PMed you my regrets at being unable to fully participate at this time but I Will drop in from time to time if you don't mind........stan

I mentioned it in a PM to you, but will say it here. This is likely going to be a small and intimate workshop as we have few participants.
That pleases me. Too often the point is missed in the babel of voices.
Criticism is one of the most important aspects of NeoPoet that I welcome the opportunity to discuss it in a detailed way with a few imaginative poets.
Stan, you know you are always welcome and I insist you comment as this subject is too important for the site for you to not be here.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Will join if I can be free, lol,
Yours, Jack

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

without you.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Which makes me cranky and uniquely disqualified from this workshop, there is no place for crankiness in a workshop on critique. I will contribute if and when I can. I can not absent myself from what is the life-blood of Neopoet, that which makes us the most unique and important poetry site on the web.

I would like to suggest that we could discuss the relative terms of critique, criticism, constructive feedback and comments. The word critique suggests criticism, two very different meanings. Also the format for critique. It can range from correcting typos to questioning the entire concept of the poem. Supposedly a sacrosanct area. Not so.

For example the format for suggesting specific changes needs to reference stanza and verse with context. It would be great to reach a consensual format. You are familiar with my form. I quote the original verse followed by a suggestion in square brackets, followed by the suggested correction. Stan uses a similar format without quoting the original and I find this inelegant and often confusing. That is for specific change suggestions.

Larger questions of tone, concept and meaning are much harder to tackle. It is problematic and yet vital, requiring great courage, honesty and insight. At Olympic Pool level we are ready to tackle this.
I would love to run this workshop myself however I simply can't at the moment, please forgive me. Wesley is uniquely qualified to raise the Olympic to the Shark level with his expertise and compassion. I ask each of you to support him, to invite other members who you feel need to raise their level of critique and we definitely need more Sharks.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I hope to discuss your suggestions and more.
Get well good friend.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I hope to discuss your suggestions and more.
Get well good friend.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

For adding me. With limited internet access and on my iPhone I'll be here to learn but don't think I can participate effectively.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

yet you should add to your wish-list/savings-list a laptop or tower, it would greatly improve your effectiveness on Neopoet. If I had any money it would be high on my priorities to gift you one. You are a most valued member of this site.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I have forever always had a laptop and iPad that's very user friendly and great with Neopoet. I though don't have wifi Internet access as of the last 2 weeks. And I'm not sure will we'll get it back on so I can't commit here until that happens. But I will be on to learn something.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

I suspect all of the conversations will make good reading. I expect some rather aggressive commentary from everyone.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I suspect all of the conversations will make good reading. I expect some rather aggressive commentary from everyone.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I will attempt to comment so I can get training lol

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

Think like a shark. Also, (as I will ask everyone) give your honest opinion concerning the subject at hand. There will be many.
I believe you will benefit from the upcoming mayhem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Open to knew things

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka.

Neopoet Community

In this world (my world) a computer is a requirement as important as a toilet. You simply must have one in the house. Put it on time, steal it, make one, but it must happen. Not only for NeoPoet, but for everything.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Maybe I should change pen name to" he who remains nameless ".

However, I agree that I need to learn better computer skills as NeoPoet is a computer society.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I have the walls of my house painted so can't get my head around, Cut and Paste damn wall paper always falls off, and paste gets in me feathers, so I just sink instead of flying free,
Yours Sparrow

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

You are not so old and decrepit as to learn a few computer skills.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Your sense of humour has slipped a bit,
Cme on ole misery guts smile it will help take away some of those bad memories.
You know damn well I am always learning, especially poetic forms from you and others I may never be able to have time to use.
So you went to a Uni or some place they taught you Poetry, they should have sent you to the school of life, especially the class of mirth and puns where one learns to laugh and smile at strange funny things, cant remember who it was that said:-
"There is no scientific reason to take life seriously"
Have a lovely night and know we love you no matter what kind of day you are having,
Yours as always, come walk with us a while where the trees sweep the wooded glades and let us talk of wonderful things that happen each day,
Ian xxx

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

I simply get the shit with your flip replies, bad puns and trivialisation serious issues.
get serious. You attempts at humour are pathetic and detract from the real work.
your are a far better poet than a humourist.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I have been a cantankerous old man all of my life, I have just finally reached an age where it is no longer a surprise.

Several things:

1) Computers - I bought a Chromebook. They are under $200, have 11 hours of battery life, and are lightweight

2) Critique - I will offer the critique I believe is best suited to the piece. If the author is offended, it's fine, I can live without ever interacting with their work

3) I will never take anything said to me personally, especially if it is meant to be personal - if you need to call me names, I will assume you do not want me to ever critique your work

4) "From the heart" poetry = self important drivel to me - if you are in a workshop and share a piece, I assume you want it to be better. If you only want to be told you are pretty, I assume you do not ever want me to critique your work

5) My critique is always about the work, never the person - if folks take comments about their work personally, no problem - I will assume you never want me to critique your work

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

Just the shark we want to see in these waters. Apart from the somewhat melodramatic presentation these are a pretty good set of guidelines, although we can hardly make point 1) a stipulation, it just helps a lot.
Economy of words too. The word 'stipulations' is pretty sure annoy a few [grins].

I look forward to working with you on this.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

board Johnathan and Geezer.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Yet to be a good mentor and workshop leader you need to learn meter. You've got no fucking idea. You count syllable and have no idea, the ear, of meter. Look at the workshop archives on meter. You don't have the 'ear' but you could learn it if you tried.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I know meter, I choose to disregard it.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

Seriously, welcome to the workshop.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Seriously, welcome to the workshop.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

In truth it should be known that phrase is redundant. Until the nineteenth century or so Criticism (Greek: Critic) meant what it meant since its first use in the seventeenth century: to critique or analyze.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I thought critique and criticism are the same.

Alid

when criticism began to be associated with "fault finding". Criticism in today's terminology makes Criticism an inappropriate behavior. We don't strictly look for fault, but also (I said "also") want to offer suggestions on how the fault can be fixed.
Criticism from the Greek means "critic". That's what we are. Critics and then teachers. Yes, teachers.
We are all teachers.
To learn something, teach it.
You're ready.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I have no reason to doubt myself. Let's do this and see how much everyone of us can learn.

Alid

Critique and Criticism.

In truth it should be known that phrase is redundant. Until the nineteenth century or so Criticism (Greek: Critic) meant what it meant since its first use in the seventeenth century: to critique or analyze.

“Do not comment, critique. NeoPoet is a workshop environment.”
In other words that Jess always uses… “critique is our life’s blood.”

Without this critique led environment, we are just another cute website.

Analysis, appraisal, criticism, commentary, assessment. There are hundreds of ways to describe what we do when we “Critique”.
Critique is a: detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
Literary... that would be us. Actually, all three are us.
The purpose of this workshop, through detailed conversation, is to analyze how to analyze.
The art of assessment.
Then we will have a discussion of how best to approach each sort of poet. How stern and forward can we be with certain poets.
We are become the Critic, but we are didactic, teaching what we know.

“See one, do one, teach one”. The old saying is still relevant.

Lastly, we will explore an exercise in actual critiquing. Each participant will post one of their least favorite poems. Following, I will assign a poet to a specific poem that they will critique. After these poems have all been critiqued the community as one will critique the critique. I hope for everyone to have a word for each critique.
Does that make sense?
We will discuss it more later.
The first question is simple.

What is critique?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

In the modern world it is unfortunate that simply because criticism and critique sound similar they are being taken as meaning the same thing. And criticism is now almost universally taken to mean to only point out mistakes. But true critique is not just pointing out mistakes and saying why one thinks they're mistakes. It also means to point out things which are done well and explaining why one thinks they're done well. I think it might be too late to save the positive meaning behind "criticism" but maybe we can still achieve making the word critique a neutral word which means the analysis of both the good and bad in a thing.....stan

In "Critique", we are offering what COULD be there, and maybe what SHOULD and MUST be there

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

to analyze, point out the faults and offer better suggestions and corrections in sharing of ideas for improvement. In short, to teach.

Alid

Both should be carried out with great care.
I know this is a workshop but it is also a gathering of many cultures and accents, this sometimes causes a problem, so if we look at where the poet is, or know them then this may stop some bad critique.
I know correct form is supposed to be universal, but an education to a high level is usual called for to understand these things,.
This is where the critique becomes a thing that has to be thought out to a better degree.
I now you will say this is still a workshop and all that attend should know the rules, but if you have never seen the rules then we have to take more care.
I have tried many times to update the two blogs on Poetry forms and have asked for assistance a few times.
We really need a better layout of the way we teach and the understanding of our poets more.
Yours Ian.T

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

Who, with his brutality and honesty, has done most for the state of Neopoet as the best poetry workshop on the web?
Me.
Even young poets need the truth or will disappear in their own self-indulgence and teenage angst.
I have been brutal to the point of cruelty and abuse but I have mellowed. No more cruelty or abuse, unless Mona the Whale turns up again, a completely useless poet with no talent or potential, wanted a social club and don't regret driving her away. And a few others. I regret only the harm it has caused to Neopoet.
I don't regret driving away useless cunts with no talent and a desire to turn it into Facebook.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

You are as usual right in many things and you seemed to have the ability to seek out those self praise people that only came here to show off as it were.
So you were abrasive at some times to the point of badness as I shall call it to be polite.
In doing so you stabilised Neopoet and made it a place to learn, sometimes the hard way, but as we know the hard way is sometimes a short cut to a great improvement..
I thank you Jess for all you have done for Neopoet,
I have been here probably 4 years or more, and have learnt more from reading your many comments and critique than others could teach.
I shall not praise you any more as the Indian Ocean and the Pacific can only take so much lol.
Loves you my Brother, Yours Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

I have felt so much shame as to my cruelty I have nearly left at times but with you support and other I know I have done good.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

It is the reason why I try to do it gently, ESPECIALLY when the poets are new members and very young. I don't want to be harsh and make them lose interest. In my opinion, it is better to give the critique in a manner they can accept and understand so that they get the message rather than be harsh and make them feel as if they are being scolded until they become very defensive and unable to get the message we are giving them. Yes, we are pointing out the flaws in their work, not on them personally but those who are not familliar with harsh critique might see it as an attack on their person due to misunderstanding.

Alid

Thank you for you addition it was from a heart that knows people and poets,
Yours Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

No poet gains from coddling.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I learnt this from experience when I first started on writing poetry and received some very harsh critiques. I was defensive at that time so I know how the young poets might feel.

Alid

and became a much better poet.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

First, Ian we are making the rules. The different cultures are not a problem, they are an advantage. Everything is a little different than everything.
Stan's and Alid's comments are concerned with two of the subjects I would have brought up. There are at least two important things to keep in mind when offering a critique. They are: the effect the critique will have on the poet- good or bad and the response it will create.

An active rule is of course is- critique the poem and not the poet.
I believe we must take it a little further and consider the nature of the poet (as best as can be done) when writing our critique.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I was always taught first you point out the positives, then you draw attention to mistakes and where improvements can be made.

Wouldn't an effective critic be a specialist - Someone with an in depth knowledge of the subject?
Personally with a limited education I would hesitate to be stern - stern "to me" is for those who truly know their subject and it's not in my nature. ( except with my husband then I'm really stern ) Lol

And is the subject of the work and issue - or should it be about the mechanics?

Mand

To answer your question, Mand, (I assume you mean critique, to teach and not critic, just fault-finding) we must see the purpose for the critique itself and that is to educate through suggestions. Its not just about the depth of knowledge the person who are offering the critique has but also the way he/she relays the message in his/her words . For a critique to be effective, one needs to ask the question if the receiving party can understand and accept what has been said in good will even if they disagree. If the answer is "no" then it has failed to achieve its purpose.

What you've been taught - point out the positive before the flaws is a very good method because it clearly points out that you're talking about their work and NOT attacking them personally and when you do it in a gentle way, you can earn their respect and trust so the next time you do it they find it easier to understand and accept your words. Respect works both ways. If you treat others with kindness, most of the time, you will receive kindness in return. Being stern does not always work. That is why you need to take in consideration the poet you are talking to. Some can be very sensitive, some has potential but has yet to find their "voice". Its about the impression that you give them. This is not just true in teaching new poets but also in relationship-wise as it can allow the bonding to be stronger.

I've used it when communicating with my niece and nephews and my sis still don't understand why they listen to me better than them. They don't get it when I say don't shout, just educate. lol

Alid

Yes - thank you Alid I did mean critique. :) Suggestions are good! I agree with that - but how can I educate someone if my education isn't up to par? I can only educate with the little knowledge I have ( though I admit that knowledge is getting wider as time goes on because of this site ).

Perhaps we should be lenient toward those who are learning how and what to critique until they grow in knowledge. Obviously the more we participate the better it will be. I think Stan said a person learns more when critiquing than those who are being given critique - that makes sense.

I agree with you, I think outright attacks alienate people and shows lack of respect. The problem is finding the balance between being ruthlessly honest and swishy washy in our approach. The idea "in my mind" is to help the writer improve and to give them the equipment they need to stand alone as a poet. ( though no one is perfect ).

I have another problem - if I give someone critique and they heed it - who then can claim ownership of the work? ( depending on how much it changes ).

Firstly, from what I have noticed is that there are more than one way to offer a critique. Sometimes I don't get what the poem is all about even though I read it more than once, so I ask what it is about as a gentle way of saying maybe you can edit it to make it more better for the readers. Am I offering a critique? Indirectly yes, because I try to prompt him to change but this method does not always work. Still, it is in another form of critique. Then the language itself, tenses, the right word. sometimes you read and you feel it sounds off and the flow is very rough. maybe the spelling is wrong or you think you can find a better word. Maybe there is a better title for the poem. Just say it and offer what suggestions you have . You are not saying you are better than them, even wise men makes mistakes. Humans err. Before we become good, we learn from our mistakes first. we are like diamonds that needs to be go through a process before they sparkle and shine as jewels. That process for humans is learning from mistakes and try not to repeat them. Critiques played a major role in learning.

Lenient? I prefer the words gentle and respectful and get the job done. If being lenient means to close one eye on certain flaws and concentrate on a few, the experience of learning itself is flawed because it does not shows the truth as a whole. You cannot afford to have your students be misguided if you really want them to grow in knowledge. However you can spread your critiques bit by bit so that they can focus on the edits at their own pace.

As for ownership of the work I say it is the poet himself because he choose to make the changes. Some critiques are ignored because the poets don't see the need to change or don't know how to edit. This is also based on my experience with raj when he helped me in one of my poems about a poet's work.

Understand that you are not always right when you offer your critique. Sometimes a better one or the right one comes up. You just have to see it as it is, a learning experience. Perhaps I could offer a suggestion which I think will be good for all of us, Mand. If you think your education is not on par and that is what makes you hesitate to offer your critiques, then learn from the good poems styles for example Haiku, its rule on syllable counts, its patterns. Check the monthly contests, workshops here and the info from the internet. Once you are familiar with them, then you'll know what to look for in poems of the same style and you can tell what is wrong and where to improve based on your knowledge. Another way is to follow your gut feelings like I said, sometimes you read and you felt something is off. Sometimes there are typos and tenses (my weak points) My first checking area is the title and my understanding on the poem's message. Do not assume that the readers will be able to see the poem as you do. A good poet must know how to deliver his/her message well.

Alid

Thank you for your comprehensive reply: I have to go out now but I'll get back to you a.s.a.p

Hi Alid - I made a reply to this but lost it, it said I wasn't allow to comment. I think it timed out. :(

I agree with you with regard the word lenient - gentle and respectful hits the spot.
I also like the idea of spreading critique bit by bit - that makes sense. Top of the list of good suggestion, for me, is to get more involved i.e to check the monthly contests, workshops, different types of poems etc. That's a really good goal to have, one that I would like to pursue. ( though I that is a long term project ). ( I also have a problem with tenses )

Wise advice Alid - I hope I will be able to remember your words and put them into practise. :)

here's a tip. Don't rush to learn. Do it at your own pace. For eg learn haiku. get the syllable count right and understand what is haiku. Barbara has opened a few workshops on it, you can ask her. Once you grasp it, try to write it and see how people critique so you'll know how to do it when you are the one offering the critique. Most importantly, enjoy your chance to learn. Treasure it.

Alid

Hi Alid - I made a reply to this but lost it, it said I wasn't allow to comment. I think it timed out. :(

I agree with you with regard the word lenient - gentle and respectful hits the spot.
I also like the idea of spreading critique bit by bit - that makes sense. Top of the list of good suggestion, for me, is to get more involved i.e to check the monthly contests, workshops, different types of poems etc. That's a really good goal to have, one that I would like to pursue. ( though that is a long term project ). ( I also have a problem with tenses )

Wise advice Alid - I hope I will be able to remember your words and put them into practise. :)

The subject, mechanics and grammar. As for claiming ownership if your suggestions caused the poem to resemble something you would write, well... I prefer to think I offer this time without cost. I chose this relationship. I give, you keep, no charge.
And one more thing.
NeoPoet is looking for poets who will give what they know. This means others will talk of mechanics and others will critique emotion. Yes, emotion. When we critique we want to look at the poet's intentions. If it is meant to move you and does not, then tell them so.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Thank you, your words are very helpful and comforting. I guess the more we learn the more we have to offer. There is a pool of people on Neo with varying critiquing abilities - that's special because the differing problems are covered - thanks to those who are willing to give their time freely. Awesome. :)

Critique should be freely given, it implies no ownership or credit and anyone who puts ownership conditions around the use of their critique is missing the point.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

I've had some help with my poems and felt guilty posting it as my poem. However if I critique others and they change it - I wouldn't want to claim ownership or even think of it, it's an honour for someone to take on board any critique I might give - and of course I would give it freely. :)

let's put it this way, without the poem, there can be no critique, so in the end the poem is still the poet's since he/she is the one who started it in the first place. Another example is if your friend has a car which needed upgrades and you offered advice for change and he followed your instructions until it becomes a "great" car to have, does it mean the car became yours? Definitely not! lol Why? Because he paid for it and decided to follow your advice and make the change. For a poet, he paid it with time, first to think of the theme, then write it down, followed people advice and make the change. Who edited the poem? the poet, not the giver of critique. Yes you received some help for your poem but if you don't change it, it will still be the same. See, I used to think like you do before someone made me see the light.

Alid

Good analogy! I see your point and I'll take it on board. :) thank you Alid much appreciated.

Your bit where you say:- Neopoet is looking for poets who will give what they know. This means others will talk of mechanics and others will critique emotion. Yes, emotion. When we critique we want to look at the poet's intentions. If it is meant to move you and does not, then tell them so....

I am not sure what this is saying where Neopoet is looking for poets who will give what they know..
This seems to indicate that they are already poets and not scribblers on walls.
The real poets here on Neopoet have to take up their station as it were and say they will teach.
There are many, in fact most of us that are learning more each day from the poets that know the way poetry has been taught over the years and they are the backbone of Neopoet,
I am fine with that.
I feel that there needs to be a goal to the teaching and the poet that is learning.
We need a goal to aim for, or as a few, drift off into the ether.
Neopoet must retain these poets by publishing their works, then you will have a point to aim for.
It is all very well being severe with critique but the end product of teaching is to be able to use the end product, as some universities where they have their own project labs and come up with many great things
I thin we have around 1200 poets on the books and are still in nursery school, publish and become the best poetry site in the world,
Yours Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

my comment was "teach what you know". We can do no more. We can only share what we know.
If you will look at the little saying at the bottom of my comments you will see who I consider poets. Even educated poets. Knowing lots of poetry forms and being able to produce them with consistency is not poetry. It is using a tool.
Poetry is that thing we strive for that we don't understand. That thing that makes us laugh and cry and think.
As for goals, there are only as many goals as there are poets. Each poet comes here looking for something different. We must offer all we can that they can choose from what we share.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

A good reply and this will be a good part of poetry and what we should be doing.
Thanks, Yours Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

1. "I was always taught first you point out the positives, then you draw attention to mistakes and where improvements can be made. "
This is the crit used by beginners on beginners.
It is a formula for mediocre criticism. Get to the point and be honest.

2. "Wouldn't an effective critic be a specialist - Someone with an in depth knowledge of the subject?"
No, an effective critique uses your ear, your instinct and real honesty, you don't need a critique in poetry. No aspect from spelling to meaning is exempt.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

knows what they like and don't like and if they give it a bit of thought they even know Why they like or don't like something. Criticism would be to say "this sucks" critique is to say "this sucks because.... then list the reasons you think that. Of course the same applies to praise. "Love it" doesn't do much good. "Love it because......." lets a writer know what he/she is doing right.
So never think of yourself as unqualified to give good critique............stan

One doesn't need a degree in poetry.
Still it doesn't hurt to do a bit of personal learning. My two favourite books for this are
"The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary"by Frances Stillman
and the much more fun
"The Ode Less Travelled" by the wonderful Stephen Fry.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Thanks For your help, encouragement and practical advice. I'll see if I can find the books you've suggested on Amazon - I'm feeling quite excited about reading them! Awesome!

Love to all

Is everyone listening?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Listening!

or rape women, then whatever word craft they may posses becomes secondary to who they are.
Yes! We can criticise who the poet is.
You have possibly not seen the worst of vile hate based stuff sometimes posted here and I have not stopped vilifying them till they left.
I've made mistakes, however if we have a place in this world it is in Carl Sagan's words "The only meaning we can find in an uncaring universe is love."
Do not be afraid to attack a poet for what they are saying, which is an attack on the poet.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

There is no need to be intentionally cruel in a critique but folks who are offended by honesty are just looking to be told they are pretty.

Example:

"This stanza really sucked, it's idiotic and worthless."

Or:

"This stanza is unfocused. It does not seem to fit the flow of the piece and I am uncertain of the value of including it."

When there is something positive to say about a piece, do so. But, from experience, I know that, at times, what I write is hopeless and just needs to be deleted. Pretending otherwise is a waste of time.

A workshop environment is about improvement of work, not maintenance of ego.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

well done.

Alid

good example. If you felt a poem was beyond redemption how would you approach the writer?

a very good question that I still find it hard to answer. Let's see. mmmm..you can offer an alternative write of the poem or you can seek the assistance of another poet whom you think are a good critique giver. You must NOT however approach him on your own if you are not confident or you can't offer alternatives when the poem is that bad because saying it really bad and offering no suggestions is not offering a critique, it is criticizing even if you don't mean to do it like that. At least ,that's the way I see it. other's opinion may differ. You can wait until you have a suggestion or others to offer their critque first and built your suggestions from there.

Alid

If I felt a poem was drivel, and I recognizes drivel, having written a ton of it, I would probably write something akin to:

"I may not be the target audience for this, so take my comments with that in mind. I am not seeing a purpose behind this work and am struggling to read through it.

Can you give me some insight into your intent?"

That, to me, opens the conversation and let's me gauge how serious the author is. If they respond with "from the heart" nonsense, I walk away. If they respond with a direction, I offer to work with them. And if they define their target audience as something to which I could never belong, I accept that the piece has no value to me but may be valuable to others.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

I might learn much from you in this process.

Alid

I am learning from you.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

experience with people offended by giving honest critiques. Is that why you don't give any in Neopoet? I remember you had once submitted a blog asking if it's ok to give it and I remember I and others said that they are welcome as long as they are aiming to improve the piece, but you never came back with any.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Not to rehash an old and tired subject but I normally only give critique by request because my time and interest in dealing with bruised and fragile egos is zero.

When I give critique, I never expect folks to follow any advice, I just expect them to consider what was said and look at their work with that consideration in mind.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

You give great critique and I must admit I don't like your poetry. You need to learn meter, you really have no concept of it. It also seems to lack passion, my personal feeling.
Yet again I thank you for being here. You are as honest as me, usually without my brutality.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

But, seriously, it's not that I don't know meter, it's that I have tired of the "poetry voice" and it's sing song recitation.

I like poetry to be a conversation rather than a lecture.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

many people from other countries resent that the U.S. never went metric....(ouch lol)

(after the workshop) to have a talk with you. Your insights are superb and as Jess said, you do it without brutality. That keeps poets here. If I can keep a poet here I can "indoctrinate" him/her and teach them to take more open critique without being bruised.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

You simply don't. Go back to the workshop archives on meter and see if you can learn something. Meter is possible the most important aspect of poetic structure.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

As I said one MUST take into consideration the nature of the poet to be critiqued or nothing is transferred. The information suggested can be buried under a mountain of animosity.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I am very glad you are here when I can't be.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

which I find the most fruitful to take the poem to a more polished level.
Say what's positive about the poem, point out one flaw at a time and suggest an alternative if you can.
The author is free to take it or find another alternative close to what he intends.
I find it difficult to say that something doesn't work with me without giving an alternative, but it is not always easy to be done.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

finding an alternative is a kindness and shows interest, though as you say, it's not always easy to find an alternative and may require research etc ( one way for the one critiquing to build their knowledge up )

I like the phrase constructive feedback - it focuses on the positive and I like the idea of dealing with the negative in small amounts - so it's not overwhelming.

the formula of say something positive then offer suggestions is bland, trite cowardly formula and below our ability.Get straight and honestly to the point of the crit.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

it is a courtesy to tell a poet that something doesn't work even if you must apologize for not having an answer. At least you have set the poet looking in the right place.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

It is difficult.

Alid

My comments are in all the wrong places because my computer (or maybe it's my site) is freakin' out.

I agree Mand and Rula, it is often difficult to offer alternatives without spending the amount of time you spend on your own poems.
But it must be tried. One of the best ways to improve skills is to use them when you don't want to.

As for educated poets... that's silly. If you are here you are an educated poet. Your education may be thin, but it exists.

Teach what you know. You can do no more, but it is satisfactory.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I agree Wesley, any critique is educated.

If all people tell me is why they did or did not like a piece, that is critique and worthwhile.

Conversely, saying anything without an explanation of why you are saying it is not critique, no matter how good or bad it may make someone feel.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

I'm glad I let you say it...

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

If anyone wants to send a note to those missing you can put the blame on me if they get annoyed.
I consider this such an important workshop for NeoPoet I want everyone and their dog involved.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Motivation.
Why do we critique here at NeoPoet? In fact, why does anyone critique at all? What is the point of the critique?
What is the purpose or intent of criticism (critique)... healthy or unhealthy?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

We do not publish, we are a workshop. "Critique don't comment".
We are a community of poets here to help each other, not a social club of mutual masturbators.
Critique is the very basis of this.

One aspect I have changed is with respect to two poets, Esker and Lonnie, who teach by the very substance of their poems. I have often criticised them for not giving substantial critique yet tthey teach by their work. I apologise to them and now appreciate them, they are substantially different yet both brilliant, major poets in their very different ways and I appreciate them both.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Motivation. To motivate or encourage the poets to look at their works from anothers' perspective point of view and to correct or improve on them when it is needed.

Alid

but what motivates you to do this thing called critique?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I am only a mediocre poet. My strength and talent is my passion for real, thoughtful, meaningful, insightful, brutal, challenging poetry, to help others. Notpander to trite crap that uses the forboten word "beautiful" several times in a poem. Good poetry enlarges and challeges our beliefs. I have changed, less brutal and more helpful (sometimes), but there is no room for pandering.
To say things like "genuine", "honest", above all "heartfelt" helps no-one.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I think what motivates me to do it is that I like to see how the poets' grow in the art and that this process can be shared with others. It's like a deed with the reward multiplied and that is important to develop interest on the art and to nurture it.

Alid

What is critique – simply put, it would be any comment made about a write. So then we have what are considered good critique, or bad critique, techniques.

A good critic should be able to tear a poem apart without upsetting the author’s sensibilities... it is called tact....a not-so-easy accomplishment. It helps to give your reasons (remembering that that involves evaluation and interpretation) and to finish on a positive note.

I think one must always keep in mind that any critique is only an opinion........

Also, I agree with Wes re ‘ownership of’ edited poems – ‘As for claiming ownership if your suggestions caused the poem to resemble something you would write, well... I prefer to think I offer this time without cost. I chose this relationship. I give, you keep, no charge.’ .... In my opinion, the idea and the message is the writer’s... no matter a few words or some format has been changed with another's suggestion....

lol – I have to say too, I really enjoy looking for alternatives to offer – and I think I spend more time doing this than writing my own stuff.... maybe this is some sort of illness?

Purpose of critique – basically I think it is to assist others and to learn myself. Deconstructing a poem is the surest way of understanding it, and learning poetic devices from other’s write, as well as many viewpoints. I find, also, that critiquing a poem will often give me inspiration for a write of my own...

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

one minor disagreement, tact is a euphemism for lying.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Tact is an art form. It is the ability to describe an ugly truth in such a way as to mitigate its initial effect. I love a good tactician. Tact keeps new poets.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

I think that this can be in a couple of ways.
The first being that as this is a workshop, to interact with each other is to improve whether a word is changed or not the Ideas keep flowing and this is the main objective.
Secondly the motivation of a few is to teach then that is fine their education has not been wasted and even the best educated mind is open to critique.
My main motivation is to be able to interact with others, and on this site we all learn at the same time and our knowledge is expanded.
To be able to walk with like minds is a blessing indeed.
Yours Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

if I give someone a thoughtful feedback ( a critique) I expect others to give mine the same. Mine and his both aim to give a polish to that piece (from a different point of view)since there is NO perfect poem.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Is there some HTML thing or is it part of Advanced Formatting?

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Advanced formatting add <blockquote>

<blckquote> Your signature here </blockquote>

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

I agree with all above comments. It's a strange phenomenon that the more we give the more we get back, either by means of the satisfaction we receive from helping someone or the help that we receive back from others.

Having the right motive is important, otherwise the comments made will have no depth. It seems that to critique well takes time, effort and attention. That's noble!

Not that I don't try to be polite, but is there art also in the harsh critique? Who said it? "A good critic should be able to shred a literary piece and not hurt the author's sensibilities".
Sometimes the truth is hard, but without it the poet ceases to grow.
So my question is this...

Are there ethics for the critic?

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

We have to adhere to ethics in all we do, to be correct and hurt someone is bad ethics..
To guide someone onto a better pathway is good ethics.
This doesn't mean we have to be nice to all but it helps if you can be diplomatic.
Some of our young poets can be scarred for life by a sharp blade, Yours, Ian

.
Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

I am hearing to much "Splash" pool crap about "say something positive then offer suggestions". We all all better, more honest, courageous than that and need to offer real critique.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

If all we ever did on site was offer full critique on each and every poem we'd have little site growth and all burn out in a short period of time. So, as important as critique is nobody should feel guilty about taking a break once in a while. ...stan

I do one or so critiques a week. A goid critique is harder to do than writing a good poem.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

Which is as good a place as any to announce the close of Critique and Criticism. I'm going to give it several days because I want everyone to have the chance to critique the final versions of our edited poems, but it's time to move on to Stan's Trifecta.
I want to thank everyone for some truly eye opening discussions. Personally, I will look at critique in a more organized manner than before.
I hope everyone gained something as well.
Don't miss everyone's final versions. Especially mine. With the help I received it's almost a poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Writing good critique can be harder than writing a good poem.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I would prefer it be one of yours you don't particularly like.
You will be assigned a critic to critique your poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

A little example of crit.

William Blake's "Tiger"
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
[Gime a break! You know you eye doesn't rhyme with symmetry, it's a spelling rhyme, not an aural one, unless you were writing in the 17th C, maybe, how about this?
Tiger Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What holy hand or eye could see,
To frame your fearful symmetry?

And Coleridge's "Kublai Khan"
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
[you screwed up here, the power of the preceding lines was depleted by the lack of power in]
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
[perhaps]
Or water thrashed beneath a whale's tale.

The Classic, genius poets were not perfect, and neither is our crit.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I thought this was fun.
It is also an invaluable exercise in critique.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I prefer Jonathan's approach, though I appreciate some might prefer and respond to your approach. In my opinion it's not about being a coward it's about taking peoples feeling into consideration, while at the same time striking a balance between brutally honest and not being honest enough to be helpful. :) Just my opinion.

Hope you're feeling o.k today. :)

Yet I resoundingly refute the "say something positive then offer suggestion" wimpy Splash Pool approach.
And I like Jonathon's approach a lot. I was so glad he turned up when I couldn't fully participate.
We need to grow up in critique, be honest and courageous for the sake of each other, poetry in general and to grow Neopoet as a workshop, not a social club of wimps.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I agree - but growing up is what it is! it takes time and experience and not everyone is at the same stage of maturity, Patience is required for those who are inexperienced while they learn from ones such as yourself and other stalwarts on the site. ( again I may be wrong - if so I will re-think ).

regardless of age.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Honesty is best and it's the only way to help - Wes also mentioned knowing the poet, what their weaknesses / strength's are what their reaction might be etc. I think that's a good idea, though, again that takes time and effort. Thankfully there is a pool of willing individuals, like yourself, who contribute freely, willingly and with passion, that's what make Neo so special. (There are few more passionate than you Jess ).

Those of us who are learning are, hopefully heading toward that goal, it's because of this workshop I'm already seeing things differently and I'm starting to change the way I critique. ( We'll get there in the end ).

[kiss]

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

it takes time. That's why it behooves us to protect the new poets to the site and treat with a new respect the older members returning. We need a larger army because it can be difficult to "take the time" to understand someone well enough to know how to speak to them.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

and will back when I can.
Love you all (except Mona the Whale)
I fucking love this site and it is my strongest motivation to get over this illness.
Be strong, be brave, critique without fear of the poet's feelings, we all need to be both sensitive and tough.
Will be back when I can,
love.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

The first thing a critique has to accomplish in order to be effective is it must be heeded. Now Jess will likely disagree but this won't be the first time we've not agreed on something lol. If Anybody is consistently negative and brutal in their honesty, most people will stop paying much attention to them and, often, disregard anything they have to say. If one is always negative (even if the negativity is truthful) what good will it do them to continue shouting the "truth" if people have tuned him/her out?

THIS is why it is important to try to achieve Some balance between positive and negative critique. I'm not sure I've ever run across any poem here that I could find No redeeming quality that could be mentioned along with whatever negative things might be said. And by bringing it to a writer's attention that you are being careful to bring balanced critique......they might just really pay a bit of attention to the suggestions for improvement......................stan

I am learning too.
Especially the part you said about being aware of the individual poet's strengths and weaknesses.
And it doesn't hurt to be nice.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

of a perceived fault in a work, without being negative.... as I said above, it is called tact

'tact' - giving an honest opinion, and taking care to say it in a way you would like to hear it said to you...

as Wesley said, it is an art....
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

however you may have noticed I am trying to be nicer.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Time for the exercise.

We will be using whoever shows up in two days. Whatever poems we have at that time we will go forward with.

Everyone is to post a single poem of any style or length. It must be by the poet’s hand and preferably not one of the poet’s favorites.
Post it as a poem on The Stream. Make sure to include Critique in the title. Don't forget to mark the workshop button at the bottom: Critique and Criticism.

This next part is important.

Many poets will comment on the poem. We will ignore these. We have larger fish…
You each will be assigned to a poem (keep your eyes on the thread for your assignment) to critique. You alone.
After your critique the community at large (that’s us) will critique the critique. I expect to hear everyone’s voice on each of the critiques.
Use what we have discussed to change the way you critique as well as helping the original critic.
Go now and post your less than glamorous poems and wait to be assigned a poem to critique.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Critique is to comment on a poem with explanation why you like or dislike it in hope that you can help the poet to improve on his/her work.
An effective critique is the critique which helps the poet to see his poem from anothers' point of view and to improve where there is a need.
Being tactful is being honest while being sensitivity towards the poets' feelings.
It helps to be diplomatic in our actions.
Be honest to all poets of all ages.
Do not be afraid of offering your critique.
Any critique is educated, its just a matter on how you execute it and to whom.
Never expect the poet to follow your advice, just expect them to consider what was said and look at their work with that consideration in mind.
Never think of yourself of being unqualified to give a good critique.
You can critique on the mechanics of a poem or the emotion it offers.

Alid

May I offer?
You can critique on the mechanics of a poem, emotion it offers or even the entire contents or premise.
Also, though I looked up the word 'tactful' in the dictionary poets need to be thick skinned enough to accept critique. One does not need to overly consider their feelings.
And one more thing. "Any critique is educated" though it does not hurt to learn a little about poetry, as I mentioned before my favourite references are:
"The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary"by Frances Stillman
and the much more fun
"The Ode Less Travelled" by the wonderful Stephen Fry.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Good summerization! Now I just need to get it firmly imbedded in my thick skull and remember it! I guess the more we practice it the more it sticks.

you're gonna be awright.
Now post your less than stellar poem.
I want to get cranking on this exercise.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

How to judge one's own writes in deciding which to post for this shop? I think I'll review some of my stuff which I think received fewer comments than I expected. By doing so I hope to find out what I did wrong.........stan

everybody use some variation of the above method in choosing which poem to post for shop. Why? I've already edited 4 poems which I reviewed and seen why 3 others weren't well received. The only problem is after reviewing only about one third of my "failures" I've already got 4 poems from which to choose which seem equally suitable lol. Guess I'll toss a coin to decide

Or does ego preclude this? [grins]

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

but if it's bad enough that even I see it as bad it gets trashed, not posted. So all my stuff on site I consider at least passable on the bottom side and tolerable on the top side. I don't trust my own judgement on the stuff i write though so i just assume paucity of comments =low quality in my writing........stan

I seem to recall you making a comment to Lonnie recently to the effect that you sometimes don't comment because it is so good you have nothing to offer.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

talking about MY poetry not others'. I write and post then write and post and honestly seldom know if my own stuff is any good. I used to Think I knew but that was before so much stuff I posted thinking it was just OK wound up being highly praised and stuff I worked my butt off writing drew little response.

I'm thinking of publishing them in a book: "Flawed, some poems that only sort of suck."

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

" Not Ready For Prime Time Poetry" lol. The big challenge will be finding something of mine which Doesn't belong in it lmao........stan PS We could do a joint book wes

You're going through the same thing I am right now. Suddenly, after all these years, my poetry is rather poor to me. I don't worry about others reading it (because sometimes poems simply don't get read), but I'm almost afraid to try thinking it's going to be as bad as the other stuff.
I believe this will pass and though my first poems may not get better, my new stuff will.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Whatever poems we have at that time we will critique.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Jonathan
Barbara
Alid

The following have already submitted theirs
*Sir Wesley (you need to add to the title that it's for the workshop)
*Mand
*Judy
*Stan
*jess ( weirdelf)
*Ian
*myself

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

"Protest"

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

I shall add your name!

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

He's moderating after all (and doing a splendid job).

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Like Jess' this is one of my earlier posting but I am not sure how to improve on it.

Alid

I have to go to the dentist, but on my return I'll assign poems. Don't critique anything until then. Focus through all the other comments. When you critique your assigned poem be sure to mark its title with Critique, so we can find it in all the other comments that are sure to come.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Some decades back, I came to the realization that if I don't like a poem, either during or after it's creation, I generally delete it.

That said, I will take a subject that's in the forefront of my mind and try to wrap a poem around it and NOT stop writing when I determine it sucks.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jonathan Moore

.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

If anyone can find something wrong with it, for goodness sake point it out. I want everyone to have the chance to have their poem critiqued and to critique one of the workshop poems.

Pugilist critiques Alid.
Alid critiques Wesley.
Wesley critiques Judyanne.
Judyanne critiques Sparrow.
Sparrow critiques Mand.
Mand critiques Weirdelf.
Weirdelf critiques Rula.
Rula critiques Pugilist.

Leave your critique on that one poet's poem and make sure you put Critique in the comment's title. Remember that it is your critique that will consume us and not the poem itself (though surely it must be involved).

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

deleted

I'm scum. I'm working on it.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

deleted

you forget to include scribbler !
May I suggest he critiques Wesley because I stil need to find out more about that type of poem since I have yet to really understand its form even after I checked it on the internet. Perhaps you can recommend me a reliable site for this?

Alid

Stan, can you take Alid's place and pull my flaming fat out of the fire? That means I need to ask Pugilist to critique a new poem... Stan's.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Regrettably, Stan is bowing out. Please return to previous programming. Alid that means I need you to critique a form you know nothing about. Remember what we said about every critique being educated? Critique the poem, not the form.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

We come now to the whole point. All of our "inferior" (ha) poems have been posted.
Now all at once I would like the community of this workshop to descend upon those critiques as the sharks and minnows I know you are.
Think on our conversations and tell us why a critique is good or bad or both.
I expect to hear every one of your voices on each of the critiques.
Don't forget to read the other critiques. It is there we will learn...

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

Do not do revisions until the critique and critiques of critiques are in. It is already causing confusion. Valid, thoughtful and courageous critiques of critiques seem less valid, this is disrespecting the courage put into the critique of the critique.

cheers,
Jess
A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/rhythm-and-meter-poetry

Please leave the poem posted the same until everyone has had a chance to critique.
I have to say I am pleasantly pleased by the nature of the critiques. I'm in the Shark Tank and likin' it. Please take this "attitude" into the main community. This is how you should critique. Detailed, honest, polite to the poet and ubercritical of the poem.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

the critiques, please make them now and allow the original critic the chance to peruse the alterations. We'd like to hear what everyone has to say on the changes, but mostly the original critic as they will have been chiefly responsible for helping bring about the changes.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment

who make these final changes might want to put something like "final version" next to title in order to make it easier to spot.........stan

Make it so.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

author comment
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