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Why do you not allow your comments on your poems?

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
Fire of Insight
England
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Joined 4th Oct 2021
Forum Posts: 277

I’ve seen this a few times when I’ve gone to comment on someone’s latest poem to pay them back for being kind enough to comment on one of mine, only to see that they don’t allow comments. I’m not judging anyone that does this, I’m just genuinely confused as to why they do.

I understand why you’d write a poem that’s just for you or someone else specifically, but why share it on a public forum if no-one is allowed to comment publicly on it? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of engaging with a site like this at all?

Again, I’m not trying to judge or bitch at anyone about this. I’m just genuinely interested in their perspective. It doesn’t make sense to me, so if you are someone who disables comments on your poems, please let me know why. I’d love to hear your view.

poet Anonymous

Sometimes you have to let it be.

There are some topics you just don’t want other peoples opinions on. You just want to
share to get it out of you. You just want it to exist on the page quietly as it is, without people and their dirty feet ripping it a new literary arsehole.

Occasionally I’ll turn off comments for that reason.

_feral
_feral
Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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i concur with the human bean above me

some people don't have outlets, nobody to discuss their feelings or thoughts with or find it difficult sharing what they're feeling on a one to one basis, so they turn to an artistic channel to let the storm out into the ether and sometimes that doesn't require an opinion from another person, it's more of a space to let the emotions breathe on their own, i always relate it to somebody deciding to rise out of bed everyday, sharing poetry can feel this way too, just to write it out and let it be is an act of rising out of the situation or feeling you're currently living in, it doesn't always require a comment on the ancient oxford comma or from a place of academia, it doesn't always cut the mustard depending on what somebody is talking about in their poem



Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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England
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Thank you for your perspectives. I guess what I don't understand is, if you're just writing to get out an emotion, and you don't care one way or another what people think of the poem, why share it at all? Why not just keep it in your diary or computer? Making it publicly available for people to read seems to me to be a statement that you do care what people think of it at least to some extent, or in some way. In fact, it would indicate (to me) more that you don't care about public reception if you enabled comments but just didn't take them too seriously.

The novelist John Banville, for instance, doesn't read criticism of his novels because he feels that he knows better than any critic what their flaws are, but he doesn't begrudge them their criticism. Physically not allowing people to comment indicates that allowing them would affect you in some way. Again, to me. It feels like making a film, showing it in cinemas, and then pursuing legal measures to prevent people from discussing it. Not in a moral sense, obviously, I know that you can do what you like with your own work, but just logically. It seems to defeat the purpose of a poetry forum, a "forum" being "a meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged." (re Google) As opposed to a personal blog, where the medium is yours alone.

_feral
_feral
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i think a part of the issue is looking at it from a logical sense rather than an emotional introspection in some ways,

i can only use myself as an example i won't use any other members or poets to express my point, i often turn off comments to certain poems of mine not because i can't take constructive criticism but more rather, i just want my thoughts and emotions out of myself, also the poem could help somebody else relate to the same feelings, thoughts and emotions in the long run if they ever read it on this platform, sometimes reading a poem doesn't require a verbal response but more of a emotional response from within a person, if anybody has ever read any poems and related in some way or another because of the fact i shared it without enabling comments then that means more to me than 30 comments plastered all over it to be honest, just imho but everybody is different of course.

poet Anonymous

Just for an example — in the past, I’ve restricted comments on poems about miscarriage.

Why did I do that?

1. Poetic expression is often needed to heal. People have the right to express themselves without being answerable to others.

2. I wouldn’t want people pulling apart a poem on its grammar and syntax when the topic is so raw for the writer.

Sometimes people need to share and communicate. That’s how they cope, and heal, and move forward on a very human level.

I guess it depends on the reasons that you write, and as above said, everyone is different.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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England
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Thank you again for your perspectives, I appreciate you providing a discussion here. The "sharing with people who might find the poem personally useful" idea is one I can definitely understand. I can see why you'd want to use a forum to provide comfort and siblinghood to people who've undergone similar, very specific experiences like a miscarriage or gender transitioning, without wanting that vital context to be distracted from with a lot of conversation about the formal aspects of a piece.

poet Anonymous

You’re welcome. 😊

Actually all this reminded me of something one of my favourite modern performance poets, Fleassy Malay, said once. She runs a spoken word event in Australia called Mother Tongue and once described how a woman had arrived bloody, in bare feet, straight from the hospital and straight onto the stage because that’s how badly she needed to be heard.

People need poetry sometimes. Inexplicably.

And maybe this is just where I am on my personal poetry journey right now, but if that’s wrong, I 1000% don’t want to be right.

Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Mr Karswell
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England
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I don't like absolutes when it comes to poetry, because poetry itself isn't absolute, it's something innate and undefinable, so I'm open to new ways of understanding what it is and how and why it's presented. That woman with the bloody feet story is amazing and certainly affects my perspective.

Incidentally, here's a great poem that I found while looking up articles on clashes between classical and modern ideas of poetry:

Ophelia’s Technicolor G-String: An Urban Mythology by Susan Somers-Willett

The air tonight is thick as curry;
like every night this summer I could cut it
with my wine glass, spray it with mace.
Over and over it would heal together
like a wound, follow my click and pace of heels
down Conti Street, St. Ann, Bourbon.

Oh Hamlet, if you could see me now
as I pump and swagger across that stage, cape dripping to the floor,
me in three-inch heels and a technicolor g-string—
you would not wish me in a convent.
They’ve made me a queen here, married me off
to a quarter bag and a pint of gin.

The old men tend bark and splatter, rabid
at each table. I think they stay up all night
just to spite the moon. They bring their diseased
mouths to the French Market in the morning,
sell Creole tomatoes to tourists who don't know
what they are. Each bald head shines plump and red.

It seems like so long ago that I modeled
for those legs outside of Big Daddy’s—
the ones over the door that swing in, out, in, out—
the sculptor made me painted as Mardi Gras.
I thought you might recognize them if you ever passed
with the boys, parading from Abbey to Tavern,
or think them royal feet in need of slippers.

Someday I expect to find you here,
sitting at the table between the first and second rows,
fingering bones or something worse.
And in the end you will throw me a columbine,
light me a Marlboro and take me to a 24-7 where
jukebox light quivers, makes us as thin as ghosts.

But for now, I will dance for the fat man
who sits in your place and sweats his love for me at 3 a.m.,
because only he knows I am Horatio in drag.

TeganStevenson
TeganStevenson
Strange Creature
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I understand that you need to be able to take criticism, but I can not (((

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