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Old 12-03-2014, 10:01 AM
Elise Hempel Elise Hempel is offline
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Default workshop or not?

I've raised this issue before in other threads, but I thought I'd start a General Talk thread about it. I keep seeing certain members dismissing all crits they receive -- though doing it in a sweet and gracious way. Or members making the most minor of changes. What's the point of their having posted a poem? I thought a poet posted a poem because he or she actually wanted help, from other writers. Or did he or she just want a pat on the back for a job well done, no revision necessary? I'm confused about the purpose of this forum.

Last edited by Elise Hempel; 12-03-2014 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:25 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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I'm confused about the purpose of this question. What do you hope to accomplish? Are you trying to get people to change their ways? Do you want new rules? Is there something that's bugging you that you'd like to change? Anyway, I think your question is pointless and will ultimately just cause arguments. People post for different reasons, and if you don't like what you perceive to be the reasons some people post, then simply avoid commenting on their poems.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:50 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Let me see if I have this right. You're upset by people who don't accept any crits. And you're upset by those who make the most minor of changes. Why don't you just ignore that bunch - both of those bunches - and focus on those whose response is just right. We'll call them the Goldilocks Workshoppers.

In other words - what Roger said. And see how wise he is - he said your question was pointless and will eventually cause argements, and - voila! - he's right.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:00 AM
Elise Hempel Elise Hempel is offline
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I thought there was an Eratosphere rule about accepting crits. I thought that's what we're supposed to do. Michael -- you seem to be someone who adheres to and polices the rules. I don't really care about starting arguments or not. Are we supposed to accept crits or not, whether we do it nicely or not?

p.s. I've seen beginners insulted on this forum, told they shouldn't be here. But it seems to me that these are the very people who need it the most. What's the point of an accomplished poet posting a poem here if he/she never intended for it to be critiqued in the first place? I think I have a legitimate question.

Last edited by Elise Hempel; 12-03-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:03 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Hi Elise,

I believe it is a mistake to assume that if someone doesn't post a revision or make major changes to their poem they haven't benefited from the critique.

Why revise in haste? It's not always possible or useful. Many people even frown upon it. Sometimes I post revisions in response to critique, but sometimes I lack the time or the inspiration: often the critique makes it clear what needs fixing, but I don't yet know how to fix it and rushing in isn't always seem to be the best move. However, I do take note of what is and isn't coming across to the reader, and the feedback I receive. It all informs revisions that I end up writing at a later date when the poem is fresh again -- and often those revisions benefit from that time and the distance.

Also, what Roger said.

-Matt

Last edited by Matt Q; 12-03-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:15 AM
Elise Hempel Elise Hempel is offline
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I'm guilty of not revising myself, and that's why I don't post very many poems (besides not having written very much lately). But I do take crits into consideration and say so. I thought there was a rule about accepting crits on Eratosphere (at least that's what someone else said). So is it okay to dismiss every single crit if you're nice about it?

I'm also wondering why I, or anyone else, should spend the time critiquing if the writer merely says, "You didn't understand my poem."

Last edited by Elise Hempel; 12-03-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:45 AM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elise Hempel View Post
p.s. I've seen beginners insulted on this forum, told they shouldn't be here. But it seems to me that these are the very people who need it the most.
This isn't a beginner's forum. How many times do we have to say that? There are any number of sites which welcome beginners and, at least in my case, if I tell somebody they're beginner (which I do very rarely, because one man's beginner is another man's genius, so it either has to be glaring - or the member brings it up) I try to recommend another site.

There's no rule about accepting crits. Some of our members jump on every suggestion and respond with five different approaches and some are far more judicious, quite possibly put more time into the poem going in, and more inclined to have faith in their own talents, and only make a few changes, and those after careful consideration. So? If you don't like it, don't bother critting the people who don't jump up and down with joy at every suggestion. And if you don't want to act on crits of your own work, don't - you may lose responses after a time, but that's your choice. And you'll also find that if you've posted a good poem - and you have a history of good poetry - people are not going to be insistent about making changes. If the poem is awful - and you ignore crits and defend every horrible line - you're going to get a good deal of pushback. That's called life.

Last edited by Michael Cantor; 12-03-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:21 PM
ross hamilton hill ross hamilton hill is offline
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Elise, I think the phenomena of online poetry forums has aspects to it that are quite unique, instantaneousness for one, internationalism, and an largely unknown audience (far more 'guests' read the poetry than members).
Poetry forums are not forums, we are not Roman senators, nor are they workshops (there is no shop), they are a fairly unique product of the internet, like YouTube, they have created something truely new, which ezines and blogs havn't. It's bound to be problematic in regards to rules, formats, approaches and politics since it is so new ( I think poetry forums have been going for around 15 years). I've used about 10 different forums over the years, all have a different approach. All have problems of definition.
ie what is criticism, what standards apply, what is good manners? And so on. It is an interesting topic although I'm sure many members have read threads like this before.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:27 PM
Elise Hempel Elise Hempel is offline
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I guess I'm wrong about there being a rule about members accepting crits. I don't know where I got it from. I thought someone pointed it out early on in my membership, and I think I've seen some members talk about it and/or scold other members for not accepting crits. I still don't understand, though, why members post their work and then don't take any crits into consideration. I don't see the reason for the poem being posted in the first place. If it's a workshop, you're asking for help, asking for a critique. I'll admit that it's hard for anyone to know who to listen to here -- too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. But if you really want help, take it, or at least take some of it.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:40 PM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Elise, I think your confusion is about what it means on this board to "accept" a critique. If the author rejects every suggestion and is insulting to the ones making the suggestions, he or she is likely to get few critiquers in the long run. To respond to a critique by indicating that it has been heard and understood, and then to explain why the author may not choose to adopt it, is accepting critique. If you find that some people always ignore your suggestions or clearly disagree with your point of view, you have the option of ceasing to critique that person's work. But every suggestion is made on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, and for a critiquer to insist that the author adopt his or her suggestion would be inappropriate and bullying.

Susan
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