Reviews for Reviews and the Art of Poetry
Strike Me Dead chapter 1 . 4/9/2007
Oh, wow. I'm sorry, I used the word 'flow' in that first piece of yours I reviewed...I see your point and I'll bear this in mind in the future.

Thank you and God bless.
I Found Myself At 24 chapter 1 . 3/20/2007
Only just now got around to reading this, I have a lot of reviewing I need to catch up on! I think your rant was justified, especially when it comes to punctuation. It's called personal style, people. I'm guilty of using "flow" too much, but mainly because I'm not taking the time I used to when reviewing pieces on here. College is crazy, but that's a pathetic excuse.

Well as you know, periods and commas or not, you've still got a fan in me! :) *hugs*
Matthew C chapter 1 . 3/16/2007
I am not interested in preserving mediocrity or a status quo, it's why I care enough to express my thoughts here. You seem competent enough to know that constructive criticism is a helpful and good thing, yet you offer none.

A couple lukewarm reviews of poems I put a lot of heart into set me off a little, yeah. But would you rather I go and flame the authors who reviewed me? This way I can at least contribute something to the FPC community in my frustration. After all, isn't art at least partially about learning to express oneself in healthy, creative ways?

So I really have no genuine vested interest in the comments of people who don't even have the strength of character and intent to respond outright. You hide behind your shroud of anonymity, which is good because it suits your words. I will say what I say under my FPC name, I won't hide from my own thoughts and feelings.

This essay is how I "get over it" while at the same time writing something that can inspire others to, hopefully, think a little bit about things.

I challenge you to, the next time you have something to say, sign in and say it. Be willing to stand up for your own words, not hide behind them. If you believe in what you say, then let how you say it prove that you do.

I am not here for your amusement, I am here as an artist and as an individual. I want to make a difference and I care enough that I am willing to stumble and fall a couple times if that means I can continue moving forward.
Anonymous chapter 1 . 3/15/2007
This site, fictionpress, is not a place where you can be certain to get good, detailed reviews with plenty of constructive criticism. It's almost amusing to see a person get so worked up over lukewarm reviews that he writes an essay about it. Just get over it.
Matthew James Current chapter 1 . 3/14/2007
Justaguy, you are right my friend. And I do understand. I see, so clearly in you that desperate, pained search for meaning and expression. I hear it in your voice and see it in your words.


You are doing well. It is never easy and I can sense how badly you want it. Be patient, abovc all things, be patient. If it is worth acheiving then it is worth waiting for and struggling for.

You are right it isn't about perfection, art isn't about being perfect. Art is more about, for me at least, the act of self improvement. Improving yourself is how you can reach towards a kind of realistic perfection. Realize yourself, find yourself, struggle to improve yourself. That is how you can realize your potential.

Express what is inside of you my friend, keep on doing it! Through those expressions, learn to refine how you express yourself. And then continue that cycle using your refined expressions.
justaguy chapter 1 . 3/14/2007
My dear friend, Matt. Incredible use of words. Loved it. Now...on to my words to those who care or don't care.

I do not claim to be the greatest writer. You are not doing that either. I wish, like you that people would review with something that helps. I need help. I need direction. I want to grow as a writer. How can I grow, if I am not ever fed the fertilizer that I need?

Tell me if I am wrong. (This is not directed at Matt.) I write for me. I do not care if every jot and tittle is perfect. I do it to express something inside of me. I want to get it out and I am trying. I say it my way for now. Maybe in a few years I will say it better. I am this wrong. Again, this has nothing to do with Matt or his essay or anything like that...I want to know. Am I wrong? I do it for me. MOSTLY.

I like the idea of poetry that is free. I want to say it in whatever way I want at that time. I think I am getting lost in my own words. Does anyone understand what I am asking. matt, do you understand what I am saying. Help, buddy.

Sorry, matt, I used your essay as a jumping off point for what I wanted to know.

I am your fan, always.
Ryan Patrick Bailey chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
"...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."

I completely agree with this quote, Matt! In fact, I agree with the entirety of your essay. I'm glad to see you gracefully stating your opinion on lackluster reviews (and their accompanying efforts). I take fire for my lack of puncuation and proper sentence structure at times and could simply change my poems to fit their standards; yet, like you, I agree that the punctuation choices are completely up to the poet's discretion, and that the often single-lined criticism lacking puncuation itself is an inappropriate use of reviewing priviledges on FictionPress.
Formerly chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
What a fine fellow we have here. I can't help but wonder what you're doing in a place like this, what with your consummate and facile command of the English language. Four whole years of writing poetry! DAMN son, you must be god. Keep on setting those standards brah!
antigonelives chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
I agree and am also guilty of leaving so-called "useless" reviews (okay, okay, they can also be considered offensive sometimes). And punctuation is lovely, but really, it isn't necessary in poetry... and I applaud you for writing this. (And sorry about this review - I'm at a loss of words. Darned Mondays.)
RuathaWehrling chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
Poetry is very difficult to review for reasons relating to the points you mentioned here. Unlike prose, which has strict grammatical rules and strong traditions in terms of style, the grammar, structure, and style of a poem is left open to the writer's (and reader's!) interpretation. The trouble with this, of course, is that sometimes the writer and reader disagree on what "good" poetry needs. That's not necessarily an insult to your work, but a recognition that not everyone sees your style or form as the best way to present the topic. You don't have to change your piece to suit their opinions, of course, but don't be angry at them for their honesty, either. Better an honest reviewer than one who says, "Hey! This is kewl!" when he really thinks it's only tolerable.

As far as punctuation goes, I noticed that one previous reviewer commented that the only punctuation you need is a period at the end. I disagree. You don't need to follow any particular punctuation rules, but you SHOULD use punctuation where it's needed to prevent confusion. Whether in prose or poetry, that's the point of punctuation, after all!

Take care,

Ruatha chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
Amen. And really, the only punctuation you need in a poem is a period at the end to show that it's complete. Or atleat that's all I need because I'm terrible with punctuation. Lol. No. I really hate it when a person says, "this is one of the worst poems I've ever read" but they don't tell you why. Hehe. Man, I love your stuff. Stuff... Okay, well I guess it's poetry and not stuff, but.. I need a cup of coffee. (I don't think that had anything to do with anything but maybe it's just away of saying YOUR POETRY IS SO GREAT! See? Pathetic reviewer, I told you) I'll leave before this gets to be a mile long. And after I compliment your taste in music. Lol. I couldn't resist :D
Liebchen Rose chapter 1 . 3/12/2007
Very good point, darling. Puncuation and the general rules of grammar do not apply in poetry, rather they are broken down and remade into something unique and entirely different. That's why poetry is so much different and so much more expressive than mere prose.