|Reviews and the Art of Poetry
Author: Matthew James Current PM
Basically, my response to some unsatisfactory reviews I have received lately. And if you aren't interested in that, it is a general obsevation on how to review work more effectively.Rated: Fiction K - English - Poetry - Words: 528 - Reviews: 12 - Published: 03-12-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2332297
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
An issue has come to my attention. And so to avoid awkwardness and animosity I have chosen to put my thoughts on the matter in the form of an essay.
I have received several reviews lately that do not meet the parameters of what I consider acceptable. Granted, I suppose that I have been 'spoiled 'by wonderful, considerate Fictionpress users for some years now. Something I am deeply thankful for.
Now, I have given both thought, life, poetry, and art intense study over a prolonged period. I have learned much about the nature of all of these things.
First: "flow" is a term that I used to use. I grow tired of using it in my reviews as I found it had no usefulness to the recipient of said review. Specifically, "flow" is a worthless term to use in a review by itself. It imparts no understand by either the reviewer or the reviewee. It alludes to the natural rhythm of the poem without actually breaking down what it is specifically that is going on. Wrong or otherwise. Also, in my opinion it's a really easy way to say "I don't know how to describe what I just read in detail, so I'll use this word." I know because, again, I used to do this. I try not to now. But if I do, I use the term in conjunction with a longer, more detailed explanation. This way the person I am reviewing realizes that I appreciate their work as a whole and am genuinely interested in helping them grow. Also, there is more to a poem than "flow" or using the actual technical terms "meter" or "rhythm."
Second: Leaving a mere sentence comment on "punctuation" does not constitute a review and is borderline offensive. You are hereby officially informed that after more than 4 years of writing poetry I know whether or not I want to use a period at the end of a line in my poems. And while you might use a lot of punctuation in your poetry, applying that rule onto my work defeats the purpose of reading another person's poem as a sovereign work of another poet. Specifically: my work is my own and the devices and style contained therein is mine. To evaluate the work of others according to the stylistic devices and style of your work is both ignorant and unacceptable artistically. This is not to say that a poem cannot be criticized, merely that it should be criticized in a reasonable, judicious, sensible way. If you look closely you can see the different levels of ability and the different styles with which these abilities are expressed. They can therefore be evaluated accordingly and in a positive, constructive fashion. An artist should pursue the ability and wisdom to be able to see all poetic work as unique artistic manifestations of the human condition.
Granted, this is a bit of a rant. But unless we set the standards high, then we will forever fall short of our potential both as artists and human beings.