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.

The Great, Big, All-Inclusive Critique Workshop

Program description/goal: 
Description:
 
A lot of folks who don't offer critique (who aren't doing so for selfish reasons) don't offer suggestions because they don't feel qualified. They don't have the terminology, the technical skills, the poetic know-how, or the formal education overall.
 
This workshop is intended to serve the needs of readers and writers who want a foundation for suggesting revisions and giving writing advice.
 
A new area of focus will be shared every week for six weeks, but participants will be able to follow the workshop at their own pace beyond the six weeks. 
 
Leader: swamp-witch
Moderator(s): weirdelf
 
Objectives:
 
By following my critique blogs and some additional scholarship, together we will explore different writing concerns for poetry. These writing concerns include content, flow, word efficiency, imagery, literary devices, syntax, and more. During this workshop we will learn how to identify, analyze, and discuss these features of writing for the benefit of our own poetry and the poetry of others. 
 
This is not a workshop for poets to workshop any of their own writing; it is an in-depth introduction to critique where we will explore “anonymous” poetry. 
 
Level of expertise: Open to all
 
Subject matter: Critique and Understanding Writing Concerns
 
To join this workshop, please express your interest in being a participant in the comment section below. Thank you!  
 
Length: 
42 days
Number of participants (limit): 
20 people
Date: 
Monday, June 18, 2018 to Thursday, August 30, 2018
Short description: 
Formal, self-paced workshop on critique and writing concerns

Comments

Good objectives of the workshop very much in sync with Neopoet guidelines as a workshop site. Wondering if you would be posting a sample poem and invite critique and/or suggestions from participants and then providing your inputs.

Raising my hand
...............................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

You asked "would you be posting a sample poem and invite critique and/or suggestions from participants and then providing your inputs"

That's exactly what we'll do!

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

deleted
..........................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

I want to make sure any questions asked are answered as clearly as possible for people who come later, so I will continue to follow that format of repeating the question and stating who asked it.

The comment sections of workshops tend to get very long, and sometimes confusing, so I am going to try to avoid that as best as possible.

Hope you'll join, even if you just want to watch what goes on. I know not everyone has time to participate.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

deleted

raj (sublime_ocean)

and that this is a volunteer site, raj.
Even during a workshop 2-3 days should be allowed before getting impatient, and this one doesn't start until the 18th!

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

My apologies to you both for being over enthusiastic....I am withdrawing my registration of interest which was premature...supposedly objectionable comments are now deleted...

having said that may i draw your kind attention to "To join this workshop, please express your interest in being a participant in the comment section below."

regards and best wishes for the workshop
.................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

(unless I missed something) and there is no need to get hasty, any of us.

Let's start over.

Raj, welcome. Please stay if and only if you would like. I thought you meant your hand was up to ask the question. So I didn't want to assume that you were on board to participate. But you meant your hand was raised to participate. And it was raised for a long time. I got it now!

Everything is okay and we are here to learn and have a nice workshop. Misunderstanding-free and conflict-free. Have had too much of that in the "real world" the past few weeks.

Let's all stay calm, respect each other, and be patient with each other. Critique is the only tough stuff we need to have here.

Kels

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Thanks for your words Kelsey which now make me feel less as a culprit. I will follow your workshop for sure though not as an active participant. With due respect requesting you to absent my name from the list.
I've already said before that you have come up with this great workshop at an appropriate time when Neopoet would like members to critique.

respectfully...
..............................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

Of course. Feel free to ask questions at any time.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Thanks Kelsey for understanding. I will be watchful now while asking questions so that I don't step on toes.

Regards..

raj (sublime_ocean)

If you don't mind

Happy to have you, always.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

would it be fair to expect that this workshop would focus on certain key factors, such as,

a) Why Critique [To generate interest on the aspect]
b) The process [the real substance of the workshop]
c) Critique v/s Suggestion
d) Etiquette
e) Benefits

I am asking this because in my opinion this is what a currently not critiquing participant may want to learn
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

raj (sublime_ocean)

Yes, a little bit of all those factors you listed will be covered, but it will largely focus on the process. The "why", the "etiquette", the "benefits", and difference between critique and suggestion will be interwoven into the workshop, if that makes sense. The focus will still be on how to critique the different concerns mentioned in the syllabus: syntax, content, imagery, literary devices, flow, etc.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Oh yeah....most of it is covered in the syllabus. I stand corrected...
..........................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

The last time I was in an environment like the proposed workshop was my 12th grade writer's craft class, which I loved.

- JRS

"and what if I write of you.
is that more love than you can handle."
nayyirah waheed

You're in!

Kels

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I look forward to some learnin' :)

- JRS

"and what if I write of you.
is that more love than you can handle."
nayyirah waheed

You're in!

Kels

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

As a preparatory assignment I searched for the meaning of Critique which says thus

As a Noun:;- a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.

As a verb:- evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

i thought that this would be a starting point to understand what this work shop would unveil..

eagerly

raj (sublime_ocean)

As a nown, it is much much more. Not a dog or chair. Nouns at their best express a plethora of meaning, not limited oblects, ideas, concepts.

As a verb, not to walk, or srike of swin but to bee an action that informs out concepots of deepo concepts.

We will fin great meanig in outselves, concepts and words by epanding what parts of pechh really mean.
If I'm wrong or off make pleade tell me so,

[{That the hell is going on? I man not frunk or mental but have fogotten how to spell]

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

may be it was inappropriate that I shared those meanings... I will be mindful..
.....................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

and above all have the courage to admit when you are not.
I applaud you, sir.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Thank you Jess for this acknowledgement.
................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

would it be fair to say

critique is to find
where the shoe hurts
it should be the best fit
for the terrain
if not. mend its ways
for the purpose they are meant
.........................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

For shoe.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Noted...
.................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

To give the ants a fifty/fifty chance. [grins]

Perhaps your shoe was a good fit.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

I liked to know Jess about why Buddhists were rippled soled sandles
........................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

Well, a person can let a poem lie for a period of time then come back and look at it with fresh eyes which often reveal problems. Or we can encourage others to be honest in posting and thus have multiple fresh eyes check it out in a few days. This is where Neopoet is unique . Here we can Expect honesty rather than just run across it once in a great while.

I appreciate you both taking the time to work ahead! These definitions do help us a lot with getting started. 
 
In recent years (since my MA, basically) I've taken on a new stance compared to when I first began hosting workshops when we first started having them. All I will say is that we will not be treating anything in this workshop as a "problem" to be "fixed". When we evaluate, it will not be to evaluate the merit of any work or any writer based on presence or lack of "errors". 
 
We will be totally honest, and we will do so with the latest, cutting-edge terminology of academic discourse. In other words, we will use what ways of critiquing and giving feedback (which I'll use interchangeably) writing scholars are starting to agree to be best way to help learners and writers most effectively (with the most progress for least amount of fuss).
 
If that sounds intimindating in any way, please be assured that these new ways are easier and less painful than they've ever been. LOL. 
 
Thanks, 
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

sounds interesting this "cutting edge terminology" and good to know that those edges would not be sharp to be intimidating but i guess more like a butter knife (used for application)
..........................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

"terminology of academic discourse"......are you Trying to make me withdraw?

Did you see my comment "If that sounds intimidating in any way, please be assured that these new ways are easier and less painful than they've ever been" ? 

 

The new ways that people are developing in education literally boil down to:

  • Do right by the people who are learning.
  • Make writing an enjoyable and worthwhile tool.
  • Encourage students. 

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

didn't carry over I guess. But there Have been times where some academics have really pissed me off via nit picking things

I need an LOL or something of that nature to help me catch sarcasm.

There will be no nit-picking here, promise!

Kels

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

workshops are for learning and would most likely involve the 3 Rs...reading writing and reproducing...so Stan we should be prepared for that....the methodologies may change but I believe the essence of learning process remains the same..mathematics when taught as mathemagic becomes fun...
...............................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

I can already see how this approach can work not just in poetry critique but in life in general.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

As this will be newish ground for me having not kept up with the latest in academic discourse.

So I have taken the liberty of adding myself as participant in addition to my role as moderator.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

.

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

The terminology for writing concerns differs depending on the type of writing, but composition scholars and educators often create hierarchies of the concerns that are pertinent to their type of writing. These hierarchies help teach writers how to prioritize the revision, editing, and feedback process.

Focus, structure (organization), and audience are some of the highest concerns for essay writing. Word choice and spelling are some of the lowest concerns. Why is that? Because dictionaries and automatic spell checkers can go far and in a long piece of non-fiction prose like an essay, a few typos are much less critical to the overall understanding of the piece than a clear focus and well-defined topic.

We can fit poetic writing concerns into a hierarchy just like these, but the order of our concerns will be different. For the poet, every single word should be very important. In free verse, structure may hold little concern, but for haiku and sonnets structure is a top priority.

During each section of the workshop, we will first spend time discussing and learning about these writing concerns, then with the tools at our disposal we will apply our learning to a poem.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/tue-2018-01-02-1454
The recap:
-We’re all peers here and we’re all here to learn and grow!
-Try using the “Review Requests” as a starting point for giving and receiving critique.
-Critique is not the same as an attack! If you feel like you have been personally attacked, contact myself or another advocate in a Private Message

Every one of Kelsey's readings here is invaluable. I wish I had a tablet,sitting up at my tower is not as comfortable for reading. I will get one soon!

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Its why Ive been on my tablets for years. As tonight I’m lying down as I’ve been doing since my laptop days in 2008 when sitting at a desktop was most unbearable physically still to this day. Sound like a fun worshop.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop*
Amqerican Version of Japanese Poetry
~American Renga~
Free Verse, Western, Modern, etc
~ Renga ~
Haiku, Senyru, Tanka, Renga
All Neopoets are welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing fun.

a pity, they are all invaluable and some very entertaining and funny.

Keep trying everyone.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

It looks like I had issues with copying and pasting to the other parts because the blogs are still there. They are "Of Critiques and Using Suggestions for Editing" and "Of Critiques and Developing Your Skills as a Critic"

Here are the proper links:

Part 2: https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/tue-2018-01-02-1450
Part 3: https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/tue-2018-01-02-1500

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Welcome back! I am so sorry that you caught the workshop (or maybe just me) in a slump. I am hoping to post the final section this week.

I also didn't agree with all of the essays in the least bit, but I thought it was good to share the differing perspectives that I had found. The author of the Writers Cafe article really demonstrates the "it came from the heart and therefore it is already perfect" outlook that many people have. Which doesn't work for me. I think Neopoet, mostly in the past, had the opposite problem of others tearing each other down: people wouldn't critique at all. But it is two sides of the same coin: people who think their work is automatically perfect will feel that any critique offered to them is tearing them down and is useless and they are the same people who won't give others critique either.

I will see if the DeviantArt tutorial is still floating around somewhere!

It's good to see you again,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

No worries at all. This workshop is intended to be self-paced. I'll post the main topic once a week for six weeks, but will keep the workshop open much longer than that and can return to any week for any input/feedback at any time. There will also be document versions available soon for anyone who wants to print and read/take notes at their leisure.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I will preface this work by saying that critiquing, giving feedback, constructive criticism, whatever we call it, is not about tallying errors. This is true in poetry and any other form of writing. Writing and composition scholars are still debating this stance since it became prominent in the 1980s. However, since completing my Master’s degree I have fully adopted the stance that writing is not about correctness, properness, or that the best writing has the least amount or least frequency of “errors”. 
 
Judging the merit of a writer by frequency of errors is still the standard in education, but scholars are trying to change that. The stance that there is no such thing as a good or bad writer, that everyone can develop their writing skills, is still somewhat controversial because elitists like to gate-keep. But this workshop will operate with the beliefs that anyone can be a writer and everyone, no matter how they write or talk or read, deserves a fair chance as a poet. 
 
In this workshop, we will not tally errors or judge the merit of the poem or poet based on syntax, use of dialect, or other writing concerns. We will only suggest changes that make sense for the poem and poet’s intentions. 
 
Recap: Knowledge of more or less spelling, vocabulary, grammar, literary devices, or other writing concerns does not determine the value of the poet or the value of the reader.
 
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

As an extension of this "Tallying Errors" post above and the discussion of variation in syntax on our syntax sample poem, here is some further academic reading for those who are interested:
 
The most effective academic writing clearly presents the stance of the essay and contributes to the field’s discourse in whatever form the writer deems important for their purpose and audience. In poetry, the most effective poem moves the reader, paints a picture, or tells a story in whatever form the poet deems important for their purpose (and perhaps audience).
 
Different forms, different dialects, etc., are just that: different, not correct or incorrect, despite what you were likely taught in school grammar class. 
 
To learn more about this topic, see the following:
 
If you have to choose any one of those to peruse, I recommend Bad Ideas about Writing (entire free book) Tyler Branson’s essay “First-Year Writing Prepares Students for Academic Writing” in this book gives a good overview of the turn away from tallying errors and the history of tallying errors in writing education. Here is an excerpt:
 
“...more and more men and women started attending college [in the 1800s]. At the time, first-year writing instructors decided that the best way to provide this new influx of middle-class professionals with the tools to succeed in written communication was to focus on correctness and efficiency. Writing instruction back then taught that good writing was correct writing, and that you can measure good writing by counting errors. 
 
However, people in the field of composition have come to learn a lot about how writing works ... researchers have known since the 1970s that teaching grammar and mechanics does not improve student writing. Andrea Lunsford and Karen Lunsford even recreated a famous study of errors in Freshman Composition essays and found that “the rate of student error is not increasing precipitously but, in fact, has stayed stable for nearly 100 years.” What they mean is that errors in writing are a fact of life. As writing teachers, the idea that errors are a fact of life has been quite helpful because it has allowed them to prioritize higher order issues in writing ...Writing isn’t a set of formulas that you plug in to get different kinds of texts. Writing is a process of brainstorming, composing, revising, having your work read by others, and then revising again. This is a complex, in-depth process that goes way beyond correctness.” (page 18-19)
 
The discourse (as briefly described by the above links and excerpt) basically all boils down to the western world’s history of using “proper” grammar, speech, and reading/writing ability to exclude people from education, from voting, and from their human rights if they could not read/write/speak in “proper” English. This is not the legacy of writing that I want to contribute to or perpetuate. 
 
Pointing out obvious typos or simple misspellings is different that judging the merit, correctness, properness, skill, or validity of a poem based on using slang, shorthand, profanity, dialect, or non-standard grammar.
 
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

for providing resources and excerpt. Honestly [in the context of critique workshop] it is not telling me if syntax errors should / should not be a target of critique. If I may put my query in perspective, is it that a person holding fork in his right hand instead of the traditional left, be overlooked?
................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

Keep in mind the final paragraph of that post:
 
Pointing out obvious typos or simple misspellings is different that judging the merit, correctness, properness, skill, or validity of a poem/poet based on using slang, shorthand, profanity, dialect, or non-standard grammar.
 
Recognizing the difference between a typo and slang, dialect, and non-standard grammar may not be easy for anyone who isn't a native speaker of English. And yes, of course, you can always target any part of a poem and make a suggestion about any part of a poem, without negatively judging the merit of the poem or intelligence of the poet. 
 
Variations in syntax (or just typos and misspellings) do not make a poem bad. They do not make the poet a bad or dumb person or a bad writer. Does that make sense? That's literally the gist of it.
 
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Thanks Kelsey for highlighting the points..
...............................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

there are exceptions.
When Jane, Serendipity, first joined us her work was pretty much on a 'roses are red, violets are blue' level but she has grown to be one of our finest published poets.

Another, who shall not be named, used Neopoet as an evangelical base for verse that never rose above the most trite, derivative, cliched doggeral and never showed any inclination to respond to feedback or even read others works. Just how kind and giving can we be as the recipients of such repeated spits in the face? I have practiced a great deal more kindness and support for years now but see no reason to encourage such people to continue to be members. I believe such people need to be told they are wrong, and crappy poets and frankly, why not, tell them to fuck off?

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Jess I appreciate the sentiments expressed by you. The existing and new members should read the guidelines which are available via the link in your signature. If they do then they should be open to the action proposed by you as a responsible member and contributor to Neopoet.

It is good that "The Lab" once launched will be a step in the right direction to encourage critique which perhaps would also enable to identify those who would not contribute to critique providing a base to escalate action about elimination after having given them a democratic option to follow the guidelines
...............................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

So, we will start by learning some of the terminology and skills needed to critique syntax. Please start by reading the section on syntax (last section) in my blog post here: https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/wed-2018-06-06-1306

Syntax Terminology

Note: I am using syntax as a catch-all term for mechanics, word choice (diction), grammar, and sentence structure in a poem. Sometimes the term syntax is not used this way. Syntax Definition: https://literarydevices.net/syntax/

For critiquing syntax, the reader may address grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, word choice, and sentence structure (or maybe “thought structure” if the poem doesn’t use complete sentences). The pertinent “Review Request” on Neopoet’s poem submission page is “How was my language use?” In terms of those hierarchies of concerns that we talked about before, in writing essays these are considered lower order concerns. Nonetheless, for the poet, with our limited writing space and sometimes restrictive forms, every word is important so syntax becomes a higher order concern. Critiquing syntax should include more than proofreading/spell-checking.

How to critique syntax:

 

  1. The first step should also be to read the poem multiple times.
  2. As you read, you can take written or mental notes about what you notice (having these notes in writing is often called annotation and you can learn a bit about it in my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8wlwu9IY4&t=34s or here: http://davidrickert.com/2015/09/18/dont-hate-annotate-how-to-really-annotate-a-poem/ or here: http://www.mcguiremarks.com/uploads/3/9/7/9/39793909/annotating_poetry.pdf)
  3. Then ask yourself about what you were noticing. Did it seem like a typo? Was there some unexpected capitalization or punctuation or line breaks (and was it unexpected in a good way or a confusing way)? Does the verb tense of the poem change, if so, is it consistent (such as a flashback or hope for the future) or not? Were thoughts incomplete (keep in mind that a poem may consistent of many brief phrases that make up one complete thought, or every line could be a complete thought, or any other combination)? Were there any grammatical “errors”?
  4. If you answered yes to any of these questions, try to determine if they were purposeful or not. Do they create meaning in the poem (such as through the invention of new words)? Do they represent the narrator or persona of the poem, such as through dialog or internal monologue? Or do they make the poem more difficult to read or understand? Do they make the reader stumble or confuse the reader? Or do they entice the reader to want to know more?
  5. Whether these syntax concerns were purposeful or not should shape your critique. If you are unsure, just ask the poet. If it is unclear whether or not the choices were purposeful is just as much a part of the critique as actually talking about the syntax concerns themselves.

     

    Some sample phrases for critiquing syntax:

     

    • These words ______ made me stumble because ______.
    • You have a typo ______ on line _______.
    • The use of punctuation ______ on line _____ seemed useful/interesting or unnecessary/out of place to me because _____.
    • Did you mean to spell ______ as ______?
    • I think the syntax/spelling/word choice/etc. in this poem could be made clearer/more memorable/etc. by _______.
    • The poem seems wordy or needing more words to me because ______.
    • The poem is clear or unclear to me because _______.
    • The mechanics of this poem could be polished by ______.
    • This thought does not seem complete because ____ (there is not a clear subject/action or the thought trails off without concluding).

     

    If you need to learn more about syntax before proceeding, check out the following resources:

     

 

Please ask any questions you may have at any time. The critique activity will be posted tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th, but questions are welcome at any time during the workshop.

 

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

and clarified my thoughts and undertanding of it significantly.

If I may offer offer examples of syntax enhanceing the poem significantly.
Roger McGouh's "At lunch time a story of love" use words joined together to create both a sense of pace and the main character's exuberance-
[Except]
When the busstopped suddenly to avoid
damaging a mother and child in the road, the
younglady in the greenhat sitting opposite
was thrown across me,
and not being one to miss an opportunity
I started to makelove
with all my body.

ee cummings used his syntax to in two ways. One, to emphasis his self-proclaimed profound brilliance in disepensing with traditional grammer and spelling. The other as a way of saying that poetry need not be more that meaning. A certain humility..

What the hellis happening to my spelling? Is the a syntactic device? I think not, it's got me worried.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

I think the best part of your sample critiques is that they encourage people to say Why they find something not quite right. By specifying one not only helps the writer but also clarifies their own thinking....stan

Short version (exactly what is posted to Neopoet):

http://kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/2/9/14295182/neopoet_copy...

Long version (lots more reading and free academic resources):
http://kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/2/9/14295182/the_great_bi...

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

It's a good information resource provided by you in these opening sessions. Also liked few examples provided for critiquing where the poet has made a review request about language use

Thanks Kelsey....
..................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

Thanks everyone for bearing with me during technical difficulties. Finally, our first poem for critique has been posted to the workshop here: https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/poems/syntax-sample-poem-critique-workshop
 
For this poem, focus on syntax only: word choice, spelling, spacing, punctuation, capitalization, grammar.
 
Don’t comment on imagery, rhyme, meter, literary devices, content, theme or other features of the poem.  
 
Also, don’t make judgements about the merit of the syntax, just identify what stands out to you about the syntax and state why. Identify both what you like about the syntax and what you think could be different about the syntax (not necessarily better or improved, just different). These will be your suggestions and your praise.
 
When mentioning what could be different, try to keep in mind that the poet will likely want to maintain the existing meaning so try to make suggestions that don’t heavily alter meaning or bigger picture (if the meaning and bigger picture are already clear). 
 
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

I would like to join

T

The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

Welcome aboard! There is no rush, please feel free to work through the material at your own pace and ask questions whenever you need.

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

Week two's topic/work will be posted later this week as I am experiencing both family troubles and computer troubles as well as several doctor's appointments this week.

Week two's topic will be critiquing literary devices, so you can read the brief overview on literary devices on my blog here: https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/wed-2018-06-06-1306

If anyone has not critiqued the syntax poem, please do so when you can: https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/poems/syntax-sample-poem-critique-workshop

Thank you for your patience,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

https://www.neopoet.com/swamp-witch/blog/wed-2018-06-06-1306

It addresses how we reach those we write to.-
"Remember: Syntax is an important part of the poem and every word should count. There is more than one valid way to express oneself and the “correction” of “errors” of non-standard dialect is a complicated issue steeped in colonialism, racism, and the exclusion of poor or non-white people from education across the western world. So have a conversation about the writer’s choice of syntax instead of “correcting” (unless it’s clearly just a simple typo)."

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Don't worry Kelsey...we shall be patient....we know that you are a devoted person in what you do...and also know that everyone has other responsibilities too ...nice of you to keep us updated...

please take care and hope you would be free of some troubling issues you mentioned...
..........................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

I have already visited earlier the Blog mentioned by you Kelsey and also commented upon it...good value addition on imagery...and using words to appeal to all senses
..................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

please don't be rushed to answer this...

do you agree that titles are an important component of a literary work.....i think they are which gravitate a reader to look inside.....it would be nice if during the course of this workshop you could also throw some light on titles as a a literary device...just a thought I thought worthy of sharing with you...
...............................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

Will do, during the content section.

Thanks!

Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

In my unlearned opinion titles can be an encouragement to go on and read a poem.

Thanks everyone, for your patience. Let's take the remainder of the workshop at a slower pace than once per week, if no one minds.

--

Often, literary devices are what set poetry and prose apart. Both use literary devices, but the devices employed in poetry and prose typically differ (although there is some overlap). For example, the literary devices in prose are often used for rhetorical purposes while the literary devices in poetry often serve to create musicality and memorability in a poem.

Here is a brief glossary of literary devices:

 

 

In a poem, the use of literary devices is what gives the poem its “literariness” or what make it sound poetic. Two of the most obvious devices that lend poetic sound to a poem are meter and rhyme. The critique of meter and rhyme, or any single literary device, could constitute their own entire workshop. We’ve had several about meter on Neopoet! Here are some more in-depth discussions of meter and rhyme:

Meter:

 

 

Rhyme:

 

How to critique literary devices: (repeated from "how to critique syntax", but specific to literary devices)

  1. The first step should be to read the poem multiple times, just like for any critique.
  2. If you would like to learn more about why we should read multiple times, or more about close reading, check this out: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/how-read-poem-0 As you read, you can take written or mental notes about what you notice (having these notes in writing is often called annotation and you can learn a bit about it in my video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv8wlwu9IY4&t=34s or here: http://davidrickert.com/2015/09/18/dont-hate-annotate-how-to-really-anno... or here: http://www.mcguiremarks.com/uploads/3/9/7/9/39793909/annotating_poetry.pdf)
  3. Then ask yourself about what you were noticing. Is there a rhyme scheme? A meter? Alliteration or consonance? Figures of speech or figurative language? Hyperbole or other exaggeration? Does the poem seem utterly literal? Is the rhythm smooth, slow, and gentle, or fast and harsh? What makes the rhythm feel/sound this way?
  4. If you are not sure if any of these devices or others exist in the poem, try looking for patterns or repetitions. Many literary devices either form patterns or are used several times throughout a poem in different ways. For example, do two or more lines end with same letters/sound or do several words that are close together start with the same sound/letter? Does the poet use “like” or “as” frequently?
  5. When you find these patterns or repetitions, you can use the provided glossaries to determine if they are defined literary devices. Once you know what devices you’re dealing with, critiquing them may occur in two ways.
  6. First, you may want to determine if the device has a strict form and if so, did the poet follow it (is the poet using perfect end rhymes consistently throughout the poem, or do they add in some near rhymes seemingly at random, for example?). If they did follow the form perfectly or not, does it seem intentional or not? Does it add something to the poem by being unique or does it just seem sloppy?
  7. Then you can critique the devices effectiveness in the poem. This critique/assessment/feedback will be much more subjective and will be totally influenced by your feelings and experiences as a reader. Do the devices create musicality and harmony in the poem. Do they add to the theme of the poem, or seem to contrast it (for example, is it a somber elegy with sing-song rhymes or is it a children’s poem with sing-song rhymes)?
  8. Just like with syntax, if you’re not sure about the literary devices, ask the poet their intentions.

 

Further Optional Reading Resources and poem activity will follow soon.

Thanks,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

for this update. Shall follow the reading material via links provided at leisure.

regards..
..................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/poems/literary-devices-sample-poem-crit...

Please critique at your own pace. Note that the "Last Few Words" portion of the poem gives the instructions, which differ from the instructions in the syntax poem.

Thank you,
Kelsey

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

www.kelsey-burroughs.weebly.com

author comment

and has asked me to post another optional literary devices sample poem.
https://www.neopoet.com/workshop/poems/literary-devices-sample-poem-ii-c...
Looking forward to your critiques

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

Welcome back Katie and no more sleeping on the job for Paul, ceiling bound [teehee].
The trick with this workshop is to actually read some of the recommended readings and maybe start near the beginning with Kelsey's post
https://www.neopoet.com/comment/157841#comment-157841
I'll add you to the workshop now.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

I'd really like to give you a
(((hugs)))
I've seen what a rough time you've had and it is fucking splendid that you are back and writing again.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet Managing Directors, with Richard (themoonman)

(c) Neopoet.com. No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.