Where Authors Whine About The Poor Quality Of Their Readers

Nothing is explicit.
It’s all implication
and innuendo.
Layers of irony
lay waiting for
anyone willing to
claw their way
down to the core.

But these things
take time and
people read quickly.

So they just look up,
bemused, and ask,
“How is this even a poem?”

◄ In Which Orgasms are Compared to Musical Elation

Ingress without Invitation ►

Comments

Profile image

raypool

Fri 8th Nov 2019 16:43

Sorry Randy to take up so much of your comment potential, I hope you don't mind . We are after all individuals as well as poetry producers, and all have our own sensibilities and expectations. There will never be a one size fits all of course, but I feel there is a lack of objectivity in communication here. We've often felt the chill of criticism and the warm glow of well dones! but it takes a brave soul to strip down a cherished post. I have tried it a few times and been met with either gratitude for time spent, or a resolute silence. I can't see the imposition of any grading or approved source could ever really take place here. Face to face would be a different story of course, and expectations could be raised. There are many chances for poetry discussion groups if you seek them out. Graham, after the points you have made I would say it's a fair cop!

Variety is the spice of life, which is always a good thing.

Do I need to get my coat?

Ray

Emilia Callahan

Thu 7th Nov 2019 13:49

Brian, thanks for your input. I must admit I'm surprised by the fact that a lot of poets here feel that likes and comments must carry so much weight in the value of their poetry, and that this deflects them from providing anything but "nice" feedback. I've just had such a different experience in my own life so far, I guess. I've sat in many writing circles where there would be good comments - I like such and such about your poem - and then constructive criticism passed back and forth. Then we'd all revise our work and re-share for additional criticism, so on and so forth - but receiving the criticism was never something that we felt was personal toward the quality of our writing. It was just part of the process, to make our poems stronger.

Profile image

Don Matthews

Thu 7th Nov 2019 13:45

Brian

You have made a valid point. We all like to be liked. However, constructive criticism is what we need to improve. BUT it is often taken as a negative and poets always want to defend themselves. Human nature at work..... poet or no poet.

Profile image

Don Matthews

Thu 7th Nov 2019 13:37

Well said Graham

Sloppy soppy
I can't read
I'm admonished
Dumb I plead

Randy - I'm sad you felt intimidated by the quality to post

<Deleted User> (18980)

Thu 7th Nov 2019 13:31

Emilia - I'm sure Ray will respond, but my view for what it's worth is that others are loathe to give adverse comments as they are nice people, don't want to cause bad feeling, are afraid that it will stop the flow of good comments on their own work or encourage others to post adverse comments, etc etc. Many on this site measure themselves by the volume of likes and good comments. Who are they kidding? But if it makes them happy...

Now constructive criticism...that's another matter. But this is often regarded as being negative, so we're back to my first point.

Anyway, good luck!

Emilia Callahan

Thu 7th Nov 2019 13:17

Ray, I'm intrigued by your comment. As a new user here, I was hoping for more of a platform where constructive feedback would be exchanged back and forth on each poem - but it seems to me that the only time others comment is to say something congratulatory or nice. Maybe I'm not reading enough comments, as this is a great discussion thread. But that's what I see.

Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Wed 6th Nov 2019 16:46

Ray, thank you and as always I have great respect for your views. Isn't the whole point that if WOL is a site for 'anyone' to join, it will attract anyone and everyone.

I tend to liken it to a party that you have been invited to, only to find a lot of people that you may not readily meet in your normal day-to-day existence.

As the evening wears on, one tends to gravitate towards those people with whom you share a common value or interest etc, leaving those who enjoy the dance floor and the birdy song to bop along to their hearts content.

On the way home, you might have taken a couple of email addresses to keep in touch maybe!

As to raising the bar, what would you have WOL do? Exclude those someone thought didn't reach the right quality level?

I have taken a decision to stop posting here on WOL for personal reasons, preferring to use my own page elsewhere for an outlet. I get even fewer responses there, but hey!

Profile image

raypool

Wed 6th Nov 2019 15:57

Hi Graham. Some bracing comments indeed. I would say and I have before and to pick up on Brian's point is that too abstruse a poem will not attract comments and therefore has a soul destroying effect on the aspiring writer. I know I would no longer have the support of 5 _ 10 comments and fear I may fall into the category of being sniffy if that implies a desire for raising the bar.. Oops.

While Randy's poem had a specific application I was making a defence for the ,occasional visitor who maybe sees little point in being in the wilderness.sadly I have to say that many comments are banal and show no real grasp of the potential that good poetry can open up , being often congratulatory and sycophantic. I'm sure that would be quite acceptable to the status quo who would not want the boat rocked .

Apologies to Randy for going off piste!

Ray

Profile image

Randy Horton

Wed 6th Nov 2019 15:53

Again, thanks for all the comments. I do hope no one thought I was complaining specifically about the readers on WOL. I think WOL readers are above average in every way. When I first joined, I didn't post for the longest because I was too intimidated by the quality of the work I saw.

Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Wed 6th Nov 2019 15:32

Don! read my comments carefully. I said soppy not sloppy

Profile image

Don Matthews

Wed 6th Nov 2019 15:10

Wot's this I hear 'bout sloppy verse?
'ppearing on the site
My ditties they are top-class stuff
Full of light and might

So wot

Yes, my friend so wot I say
Throw me all your shit
I'll catch it in my hands I will
And throw you back at it

Thalia says shit Don you getting bit carried away......

Randy, you started all this. It's your fault.....

Don't be hard on Randy Don....

😎

Profile image

Graham Sherwood

Wed 6th Nov 2019 14:55

There are some incredibly good comments in this blog, worthy of a discussion thread all of its own.

Typically, a really well thought of poem here on WOL will attract between 5-10 comments/likes or both. not a lot of recognition really, although there is no counter to measure how many times a poem is looked at individually.

As Brian says, the site is here for everyone, at all ability levels and for myriad personal reasons. It is very easy for the more capable poets to become sniffy at the more light-hearted, uber-introspective or just plain soppy offerings that might find their way onto the site. So what!

As for editing old work, I for one do it rarely, and if so I do not re-publish. That's just me. Everyone to their own!

Profile image

Don Matthews

Wed 6th Nov 2019 13:58

This interesting what Emelia is saying. I have heard the same comment from a long-standing experienced WOLer.

They look back on work when starting and are appalled by some of it. I seem to be the opposite. I read work when I started 2 years ago and think did I really write this? I guess if I had started when young and no life experience my early work would also be 'appalling'.

Then maybe not.......

Emilia Callahan

Wed 6th Nov 2019 13:34

I also feel that you've hit on a truism in this piece. In regards to your students at the community college and the students at prestigious universities, I would honestly say that their poor quality of poetry probably relates more to being young and inexperienced, than anything else. I was a creative writing student in college as well, and when I look back at the things I wrote my first year versus my last year, I'm appalled at how awful of a writer I was in the beginning, and how much I improved. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment though, "being misunderstood is painful, but also universal" - and I think that is sometimes why we choose to write - we may be misunderstood at times, but we'd also like to share those things in our lives and our selves with others in hopes to create a more universal connection.

<Deleted User> (18980)

Wed 6th Nov 2019 08:53

On this site we all write for an audience and we like to receive 'likes' and comments, preferably favorable. Otherwise why would we post? This site is a broad church with a constant stream of new contributors from many different countries, some of whom do not have English as a first language. The motivation for many is to get their back catalogue out there, to tell us about their particular issue, to post only and not engage with anyone etc. At the same time there are other established contributors who have been around for a while and are up to speed with the way other contributors write only to then leave the site or become a rare visitor. Regular contributors often write about their partner or muse or about the obvious or amusing and don't look for subtlety. So with all this going on, the audience for a piece which requires reading and re-reading to look for the subtle is quite small and relies on them dropping in on the day or two of the poem's life.

Having said all that Randy I will read your work closely in future.

Profile image

Randy Horton

Wed 6th Nov 2019 07:09

When I taught at a community college, many of us professors liked to lament the poor quality of students we had. We once had a visiting expert on higher education tell us that faculty at the most prestigious schools had the same complaints about their students. Being misunderstood is painful, but I'm guessing it is also universal.

I really appreciate the comments. Thanks as always.

Profile image

raypool

Tue 5th Nov 2019 19:53

Perhaps I'm biased Randy but for my money you have hit on a truism particularly appropriate to this site where subtlety of expression counts for little. maybe I'm off beam but that's how I read it as I respect your input. I've given up with my material....

Ray

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message