Honestly Crafted Critique
No Poem Left Behind! Want to better connect with your Readers? Then hone your skills by learning to critique the craft of others. Please read our Guidelines filed in the "About" Tab BEFORE POSTING ANYTHING.
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Guidelines for Posting Poems and Critiques



Welcome to Honestly Crafted Critique!

You must be registered here at DUP for a minimum of 7 days, and an active participant, i.e. - offering feedback, before posting a poem to this group. Any poems posted earlier than this will be deleted and you will be notified via Private Message of why.

If you would like a poem critiqued, then copy paste it into a New Post with the Title as the "Heading".

Or, when creating a New Post, there is a button available to insert poems straight from your personal list.

Please submit no more than one poem per week.

We want each to receive enough attention and discussion. Sometimes that requires an absorption rate slower than you may be accustomed to. Just as a poem may slowly unfold over the course of several readings, Critique also takes time as it unfolds as well.

Keep in mind that no matter what, critiquers will likely copy the original word for word in fragments or as a whole as they work on it. You may return to erase your copies. Critiquers are under no obligation to erase any fragments or entire copies of your original they made.

If you would like to critique a poem, feel free to reply to an already existing post. Don't post your critique as a direct reply to other critiques. Let the author of the poem make direct replies to each critique. We want to keep the critiques in separate boxes under the original Post.

Do NOT waste a moment of anyone's time posting a poem just for the sake of having it read or advertising your profile.

1. Guidelines for Critiquers

Just as the Poem is an art form, so is the Critique. It's a method of constructive and positive communication intended to assist writers in improving their skills.  First, read the poem several times ( out-loud IS beneficial to experiencing the poem ), before forming an opinion.  Were you able to discern what the poet was trying to convey? Was the meaning too ambiguous?

Once you've carefully considered the poem, be positive and constructive with your response. Your critique should always be directed at the poem, not the poet. Beginning a critique with " You " vs. " I " may cause the poet to feel defensive. For example, saying " You need to be less ambiguous " vs " I feel the poem is a bit ambiguous " makes all the difference in how the poet will receive the critique. Focus on the poem, it's meaning, rhyme, form, syntax, narrative, spelling, grammar, etc. You are critiquing the poem not the poet.  

Use constructive and positive comments to support any negative aspects by reminding the poet that the critique is merely your opinion.   Comments like "Nice" or "Good Poem" should be a preface for a more in depth critique.  The intent of a critique is to add value to the poet's experience so that s/he may improve their writing skills, not merely offer friendly feedback.

ALWAYS begin the critique with the writer's strengths. Highlighting their strengths kicks the critique off on a positive note. This sets the stage aesthetically for them to receive their weaknesses less defensively.  Don't be afraid to be HONEST about what you think needs improvement, and support any advice with solid suggestions like,  " This word is ambiguous, I would suggest...". This will only help them be better. If you can't think of anything to suggest regarding structure, then share your interpretation of the poem with the poet.  How it made you feel is also important to share with the poet. Remember to always be positive and encouraging.

When faced with a negative reply from a poet that violates the guidelines, don't engage. Report to a Director immediately. Sometimes no matter how positive or constructive you've been, the poet may feel let down, especially realizing their poem needed more work.

For examples of critiques, you can view the original DUP Critique Series thread in the regular forum here:

2. Guidelines for Poets

Thank you for being here! If you are looking for " Friendly Feedback " please " Submit " your poem to the forum and select the " Friendly Feedback " option. This group provides Honestly Crafted Critique to better assist you in honing your writing skills.  

A Critique is a valuable tool designed to assist you in improving your writing.  RECEIVING a Critique is just as important as providing one. Please note the following guidelines:  

1. If you think your poem is perfect, why would you request a critique? ( Although submitting a poem you feel needs no work could be quite an eye-opening experience when viewed from another perspective ).  Submit poetry that you feel needs that " something " to make it better.  Say you know there's something not quite right about it,  so you need a second set of eyes to improve it.  If you do choose to submit a poem you feel needs no further work, make sure you're seasoned in receiving critique, as it could be difficult to receive on a piece you think is perfect.

2. Do not become defensive. You're here to obtain the perspective and opinion of the Critiquers, as well as improve your writing skills.  When a Critiquer donates their valuable time and effort to your work,  the most beneficial thing to do is ask for clarification if you don't understand.  If you feel a Critiquer has totally missed the point of the poem, then by all means point that out and request additional feedback based on that information.  However, realize from the Critiquer's initial response that the poem is ambiguous, which may be a weakness in relating your message effectively.  What can you do to better connect and convey the message you intended to your audience?

3. Say " Thank you. "

Regardless of whether or not you agree with a critiquer's opinion of your poem, they donated their time and expertise in a respectful manner. The average critique can take 45 min to an hour of time.  Appreciate that donation for your benefit as a writer with simple gratitude if you have nothing further to offer.

Failure to acknowledge your poem was critiqued will result in any future submissions of yours being removed and you being ignored.


4.  If you feel a Critiquer has violated the group guidelines, or has attacked you personally, do not engage! Notify a Director immediately and allow them to address the situation.

Thank You

Johnny Blaze & Ahavati

p.s. Don't be surprised if you see the following members providing critiques as well.

Johnny Blaze also posts under the accounts
- Magnetron
- Psycotic Mastermind
- Mary Walker
- Anarchitect

Ahavati also posts under the accounts
- Ex-Machina ( Ava)
- TwoSpirit ( Adsila )
- Agent Starling ( Clarice )