First of all, I’d like to thank each of you who stepped forward last week and contributed to the discussion on Critique Part 2. I just reread all of your words, and they all make sense,
and valid points. I also like the give and take element that has been created here.
The consensus would seem to be that we, as a group, should explore creating a private space for such an experience. One of my problems, with that, is that I am a technonincompoop. However, this morning, I received an email from one of the group here, telling me that he would be more than willing to lend his expertise to establishing a private area where the critique could take place. What a relief that was. I was told that we could set up such a private forum right here in this space. Or, we could create a separate blog altogether to do that. Guess that means you will have to let us know which of those two choices you would prefer.
I would also agree with Neil, that we might begin by creating a brief written statement of focus and purpose for anyone seeking to join in, as well as being willing ourselves, as individuals, to agree to such a statement before beginning. I do agree with most of the points that Neil made in last week’s discussion. And would definitely nominate his person to do that writing, if he could shorten it down to a paragraph or two, lol. I’m sure you can do it Neil, and it could be our first critique, with possible suggestions for inclusion or rephrasing. I wouldn’t expect you to put it in poetic format, that might be cruel. But, it would give us a chance to try out the format after it is established.
I, myself, would like to see certain things included. First, I would echo what Mary said last week: that each individual be free to accept or reject any suggestions that he/she does not find of value to the poem or its intent. Second, that this experience be considered a learning experience for everyone who participates, and by participation, I do not mean that anyone is obligated to “speak”, and is free to do so only through choice.
Although I do not want to throw a clinker in here, there is another level that we have not discussed at all. Poetry is a verbal art. An important aspect of critique is to hear the poem read aloud. When we read the pieces in our heads, or even aloud at our monitors, we do not hear the author’s inflections, feelings, or the way in which he reads, thus speaks the work. How would you feel about adding sound to a critique experience? I don’t even know if that is possible, but I think it would help a great deal in getting a solid feeling about what we are critiquing. How would you feel about reading aloud? Possibly recording yourself reading your own poetry? Would that be too difficult or intimidating for you?
It’s been a few years since I’ve read any of my poetry aloud. Not sure I would be all that comfortable with it. Just wanted to throw that idea into the discussion. It really does make a difference in how one interprets the words, sounds, and even the images.
So, this week, I’m asking you to contribute any statements you wish to see included in that first summing up of focus and purpose. Consider what you would suggest as a possible Mission Statement for our critique experience, and think about reading your poetry aloud to expand that experience.
We’ve discussed a great deal about what we’d like to see and experience in the critique situation. And from what I have gathered, the main objective would be respect and genuine consideration by all involved. I like that about this group in general, and hope you do as well.