Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Mary Morstan Female, 54, New Zealand (8/7/2013 6:23:00 PM)

Hey, older critics. If you don't like what young people write, why don't you ignore it?It isn't cool to jump down the throats of teenagers, or people in their twenties, on a public forum. If you wouldn't do it to your own family or students, then don't do it here.They're excited, naturally, by positive comments, unprepared for really negative feedback following same. Fine, if you give advice one to one to someone you teach or know in private - not fine when you don't know who you are dealing with, their emotional or mental history, their dreams. And what did you write and who did you read at a similar age?Were you so wonderful then?And now you are older, how far have you got with all your reading?Here?Everybody has to start somewhere and if they are in love with what they heard in school and haven't got further, well, that really isn't your problem. They will move beyond where they are now when they are ready, otherwise give up. Whatever the case, they have more years ahead of them than we have to grow and change - and part of the pleasure of the journey is discovering contemporary writers for one's self, not being ordered who to read by someone one doesn't know from Adam. Further, this isn't the Oxford Book of Contemporary bloody Poetry. Why not message privately if you feel the need to give advice?Sorry if I sound bossy, but I teach twenty-somethings and they need encouragement and/or guidance, not slagging. You're dealing with human beings - most of whom are struggling to keep going - it isn't easy being young.

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  • Jefferson Carter (8/7/2013 9:38:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Mary, I agree with you. As long as the youngsters posting here want something more than a kiss on the butt, I'm with you. I taught twenty-somethings for years and never had to deal with the kind of proud ignorance I see on this site all the time. I suppose one difference is that my students took the class to learn; they were receptive to and even grateful for criticism. Here, the slightest hint of criticism, and the little darlings go ballistic!

    I assume (presume) if someone posts a poem, he/she wants a critique, even if it's negative. Someone who posts " read my poems! read my poems! " five times on the forum, I'm going to read his poems and give him my opinion. If he can't handle it, he shouldn't be posting. It isn't easy being young, I know. It's also not easy reading bad poetry and saying nothing. Your point about messaging privately is a good one though. Maybe I'll do that in the future.

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    • Mary Morstan (8/8/2013 6:04:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Jefferson, go and write your own poetry (if you're like me, you post on here when the well is temporarily dry) . Or go for a walk - and accidentally elbow all those unattractive people on the street w ... more

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