Week Three: ~ Critique Etiquette ~
A very warm welcome to you on our much anticipated critique series, now in it's third week. Take a moment to grab yourself a cup of coffee and settle down with us. Maybe a sandwich or a cigarette (if that's your thing) Aaah... that's better.
So how exactly is the best way to comment on a poem?
1) Always be polite: A person has poured their heart and soul into writing a poem. It is good old fashioned common decency to be polite when you are addressing somebody else's poetry. It's not all doom and gloom of course - I have had plenty of people leave comments on my work that joke around, throw a little humor into the workings, and it's important to remember that that is a totally acceptable response also. Humor is the footnote of personality, and we are all individuals; all with different quirks and eccentricities. Humor is one thing - comments that become personally offensive are not. It is important to understand the difference.
2) Take notice of commenting preferences: Always look at what the author is looking for in terms of critique. Are they looking for honest critique or friendly feedback? (See week two for an explanation of these two things.) Always try to respect that a person looking for friendly feedback may not want an in-depth review of their work.
3) Try to avoid three word reviews: I don't know about you, but my heart genuinely sinks when I open a page and receive the dreaded comment "it was good". We are poets, and our comments advertise us as writers. Our comments link back to our work. Would you want to read somebody who can only be bothered to comment "it was good" or are you more likely to visit somebody who has taken the time to write a short few sentences on why they liked the poem and what they perhaps would change about the piece? I truly believe that effort breeds effort. This is something to consider when reviewing other people's work.
In week two, we introduced you to the sinking feeling you may have faced at some point in your Deep underground Poetry membership when faced with a rude comment on one of your poems.
In terms of etiquette, how is the best way to react to a comment that is rude or that you simply don't agree with?
1) Say 'thank you': It really is that simple. If you find yourself faced with a comment that you perhaps don't agree with, do not be confrontational. Simply say thank you and move on. Remember the saying discussed in week two that states "You can please some people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time" ? That, I feel, is very true when it comes to critique. We are all individuals. Everybody's writing skills are different, and their themes are varied. Inevitably, somebody else's views may not be the same as yours. If you do not agree, the best way is to just be polite and move on with your life. This is a guaranteed way of not having any drama come your way! (and let's face it, who wants drama? We're all there to write, right?)
2) If a comment is abusive or personally insulting, report it: On every comment, there are three buttons - the 'reply' button, the 'thumbs up' button allowing you to 'like' a comment (much in the same way as Facebook) and a little exclamation mark that allows you to report a comment. When you report a comment, this will be looked into by a moderator and then dealt with accordingly. It is much better to report an abusive and/or rude post rather than try and tackle it yourself. The moderator team can then take the appropriate action.
Deep Underground Poetry is an international community, made up of hundreds of different people of different ethnicity, different cultures, different age groups, different ways and viewpoints. It is made up of our ever growing population of newer members, older members, and some members that have been there since the dawn of time. It is important to remember that this is what makes our community unique. Be polite, be respectful, and be aware of our human differences. You won't go far wrong on a comment with common decency for all.
Reply here or visit our facebook page and start/join in a discussion! Week Three: https://www.facebook.com/DUpoetry/photos/a.10154508509648665.1073741826.148635498664/10154852978803665/?type=3&theater