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Feedback or Backslapping

Most of the poets who contribute to WOL enjoy receiving feedback and/or are just happy to know that someone has read their work and given it a 'like'.

From a pro-active point of view I am always a little surprised that there is very little constructive criticism and suggestions for changing some aspect or other of the poems offered.

I have started putting poems on to WOL that are not finished, choosing to edit them in situ (something I would never have done previously) eventually placing the finished articles on my personal wordpress blog.

So I suppose my question is this. As there is such a deep resource of poets active here on WOL, why is there so little critique and so much backslapping (albeit backslapping is very welcome too).
Tue, 22 Sep 2020 10:12 am
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Hi Graham, it's a great question... When I first joined in 2009, users were much more inclined to give feedback on what worked and what didn't as well as correct typos and suggest improvements.

Sometimes, those were hard to hear but it was a great learning curve for me and encouraged me to take a lot more care in my writing and proof-reading before posting.

I think a combination of wanting to be supportive, nice and perhaps a lack of confidence or fear of irking other members might put people off making those suggestions.

I come here to share my work and to be inspired and delighted (and challenged) by others - not to sit down with a red pen and tell people where they've gone wrong. So, perhaps for me, it's laziness. I also don't want to endlessly troll people who have issues with spelling...

If there is an occasion I want some constructive criticism on a poem I tend to specifically ask for it in a post script and people are usually obliging! 😃
Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:50 am
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Tom, that is a good point about asking for the feedback.
Wed, 23 Sep 2020 02:06 pm
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I've learnt that you can make the most harmless remark and people (not just the author) will jump to put you straight. This deters the constructive criticism that I think would be very helpful. Perhaps there could be a concerted effort to go ahead with the comments and just take the flak, perhaps over time the culture would evolve to an adult level.
Thu, 1 Oct 2020 09:49 am
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Poetry is a work of art. Other than fixing typos or correcting specific form, critiques are subjective. What strikes one reader as brilliant poetic writing can leave another confused. Read Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke for deeper insights.
Fri, 18 Dec 2020 03:00 am
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That would mean having to 'DO' something V.

Waiting for a comment to your comment is like dropping a leaf down a canyon and waiting for the echo.

Here is mine... poetry is in the eye of the reader

To see or not to see that is the question.

Tue, 29 Dec 2020 04:16 pm
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I see the blogs and profile pages as each poet's face to the world and I am reluctant to put anything onto the blogs or profiles that isn't respectful of that.

I am conscious that many poets write in very different styles than I do and that in itself might mean I cannot make any recommendations or observations, but for those who do write in similar styles then I might possess a reader's eye/ear and if I am inclined to devote the brain power to it then I tend to send a private message if I have a poem altering suggestion to make.

I also use private message for other type of personal response that might not be suited for public consumption.
Tue, 29 Dec 2020 05:17 pm
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