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Poetry Hound Male, 60, United States (3/25/2005 7:33:00 AM)

Adam, you are yet another voice of reason. There are a handful of folks who rail against the ones, but the tens leave just as big a stench. People use them to say 'I support you' or 'Here's a hug.' They're not really saying that your poem is on par with Shakespeare or Dickinson, at least I hope they’re not. The tens pervert the rating system as badly as the ones do (The ones are given as a way of saying, 'I DON'T support you) . Fortunately, the rating system complainers are a minority. Most folks are here just to read (or discover) good poetry. And there are quite a few who are truly interested in improving their writing and are open to criticism. They may disagree with the criticism and think it's unfair and that's their prerogative. But at least they are open-minded about it. If someone takes offense at my criticism, I usually apologize (but not always) .

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  • Lenchen Elf (3/25/2005 8:36:00 AM) Post reply

    Interesting and valid point PH & Adam. The nature of this poetry board invites posting and comment from all walks of life, not all have formal literary background...so naturally work is variable in the content and form, reflecting personal experience/consciousness/education/culture etc.
    It follows that in offering critique or appreciation many can only utilise the 'tools' that are to hand, be it the rating sys, commentary box and the poems merits to the individual reader based on their own interpretation.
    Regardless of a formalised idea of what constitutes a 'good' poem' the content or phrasing may impact on the reader at a personal level...i.e.: has it given me something positive/negative, affected me, caused me to think/reflect/identify with what is being said or maybe explored a novel idea of mans place in the grand scheme of “stuff”...touched MY mind in some way etc etc etc etc.

    So, I may not be alone here in reacting to a poem on this board for its overall personal impact rather than an immediate assessment of its structural cleverness or erudite basis.

    I have yet to acquire those tools to make such an analysis of anyones work.

    A rambunctious Parisienne bar room ditty, or a folk tale from an Albanian shepherd has its place alongside Milton or Ginsberg…all reflect man. This is just my opinion that is all I could ever offer with OR without the “tools of the trade”, or should we apply rigid methodology to the expression of being, should Poetry be the preserve of an idealised form and elite few who may pursue that form

    Which in my own waffely non-erudite way leads me back to the commentary box and “Verbal Hugs”…They have their place alongside more formal and potentially helpful critique from those able to give one, the goal of which should be to encourage an accessible creative expression of each individuals perspective. Verbal Kickings on the other hand, are a waste of breath and time and serve everyone ill.

    Some people obviously use the Scoring System as an extension of a “hug” or as we’ve seen recently “kick in the goolies”

    But isn’t that inevitable given the above, if you have an open undefined scoring system in place, it will be used according to each users personal criteria. Perhaps we either ditch the system entirely (my preference) or change it, after all, can we really complain if we are measured by a scale that does not confer a standardised meaning in the first place?
    No easy answers: -)

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