Poetry Forum

Full Version: Which is more constructive?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
When critiquing I've noticed that everyone tends to have their own style, much like writing. What I wonder is which is more constructive for the writer, praise or criticism?

I guess one could argue it depends on the writer, but I'm curious what you think,

thoughts?
My personal preference is to be told why I'm crap. But it needs to be educated criticism, not 'I don't like your face, go back to where you came from'.
My personal style of giving crit is fulsome praise or generally having a go. It's not ideal, and I haven't quite got around to writing quality crit.
I'm in awe of people who are able to give well thought through, balanced feedback.

But Weeded, would you prefer to be praised or damned? I'll do the opposite, of course.
Both are equally important when I sit down to edit as long as they are specific.

If a few readers like a word, line or idea that I doubted I am less likely to mess with it and and probably won't trash it entirely. If even one reader gives me a juicy reason for liking something I will try to protect it.

If a few readers are bothered by a word or line or idea I will poke at it endlessly to try to get it right, sometimes replacing or cutting the whole of it. Often something clearly better will come out of it, eventually Smile Sometimes no matter how many readers don't like something I can't let it go, that's between me and the poem, each comment is still important, each has made my brain work as hard as it can to consider the alternatives.
Wait, which writer? The critic or the criticized?
On a slightly tangential note, if you meant the critic, wouldn't it be swell if we also had a forum where we got to criticize crits?
(06-30-2016, 07:45 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]Wait, which writer? The critic or the criticized?
On a slightly tangential note, if you meant the critic, wouldn't it be swell if we also had a forum where we got to criticize crits?

We do, it's called The Pig's Arse. Want to bitch and moan or ridicule without getting banned no matter how many members or poems or critiques you throw darts at? That's your forum. Reminder: Anyone who would be offended has already been been warned to not read there.
Oh, not bitch and moan and ridicule, I mean crit the works of criticism as bits of literature themselves, a la how we crit poems now.
(06-30-2016, 08:28 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]Oh, not bitch and moan and ridicule, I mean crit the works of criticism as bits of literature themselves, a la how we crit poems now.

You can't legitimately crit a crit.
It's supply and demand. Crits are worth more than pomes.
(06-30-2016, 08:33 PM)Achebe Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 08:28 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]Oh, not bitch and moan and ridicule, I mean crit the works of criticism as bits of literature themselves, a la how we crit poems now.

You can't legitimately crit a crit.
It's supply and demand. Crits are worth more than pomes.

Amen, but if you wanted to try the Arse is the place to do it. You don't want to distract from the thread itself. Put your helmet on, tho, my first year here I PMed a mod suggesting a crit for the spotlight. I was told to just go ahead and start the thread. The original OP had a hissy fit that I did anything at all with his poem. Ah, well, even best intentions. Still, in the arse anything goes, so do what you please.
(06-30-2016, 09:22 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 08:33 PM)Achebe Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 08:28 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]Oh, not bitch and moan and ridicule, I mean crit the works of criticism as bits of literature themselves, a la how we crit poems now.

You can't legitimately crit a crit.
It's supply and demand. Crits are worth more than pomes.

Amen, but if you wanted to try the Arse is the place to do it. You don't want to distract from the thread itself. Put your helmet on, tho, my first year here I PMed a mod suggesting a crit for the spotlight. I was told to just go ahead and start the thread. The original OP had a hissy fit that I did anything at all with his poem. Ah, well, even best intentions. Still, in the arse anything goes, so do what you please.
But we crit essays on pomes, and it's considered legit ---
anyway, anything? Man, who cares about crit -- I'm gonna go make bestial porn with a bear!
(06-30-2016, 09:32 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 09:22 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 08:33 PM)Achebe Wrote: [ -> ]You can't legitimately crit a crit.
It's supply and demand. Crits are worth more than pomes.

Amen, but if you wanted to try the Arse is the place to do it. You don't want to distract from the thread itself. Put your helmet on, tho, my first year here I PMed a mod suggesting a crit for the spotlight. I was told to just go ahead and start the thread. The original OP had a hissy fit that I did anything at all with his poem. Ah, well, even best intentions. Still, in the arse anything goes, so do what you please.
But we crit essays on pomes, and it's considered legit ---
anyway, anything? Man, who cares about crit -- I'm gonna go make bestial porn with a bear!
 
I love nested comments
(06-30-2016, 05:33 PM)Achebe Wrote: [ -> ]I haven't quite got around to writing quality crit.

Ah come on what a load of bollocks. Your critiques are excellent... knowledgeable and honest what more can anyone ask for.

A back massage?

A couple of card tricks and a backward somersault? 

Tongue Tongue Tongue
Todd is a great mod to watch for this; he balances the positive and the negative. He's brief, and he's clear.

Criticism is helpful for me to know which parts aren't working or need to be cut. Praise helps me know what is working so that I can move in that direction as a target.
(06-30-2016, 05:33 PM)Achebe Wrote: [ -> ]But Weeded, would you prefer to be praised or damned? I'll do the opposite, of course.

Praised most definitely Smile

But yes I agree with Ambrosial, Achebe's critiques are awesome, although his(or hers, I still dont know your gender) personal style took awhile for me to get used to. After enough reading I realized he (or she) is probably one of the best poets on this site so it became much more apparent why his/her crits carried sometimes so much frustration with it.

(06-30-2016, 07:45 PM)RiverNotch Wrote: [ -> ]Wait, which writer? The critic or the criticized?
On a slightly tangential note, if you meant the critic, wouldn't it be swell if we also had a forum where we got to criticize crits?

The criticized, duh Tongue
(06-30-2016, 04:04 PM)Weeded Wrote: [ -> ]When critiquing I've noticed that everyone tends to have their own style, much like writing. What I wonder is which is more constructive for the writer, praise or criticism?

I guess one could argue it depends on the writer, but I'm curious what you think,

thoughts?
The question itself is flawed. You pose it as if criticism is the opposite to praise, but it's not. Criticism does not mean the same thing as censure. It is not a negative thing at all -- it is merely a detailed comment. That detail should always include positive and negative aspects, with constructive comments as to how something may be improved.

If you only want half the criticism -- ie. just praise -- then Facebook might be a better place to post. Or AllPoetry, they're quite big on blowing smoke up people's arses.
(07-01-2016, 06:01 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 04:04 PM)Weeded Wrote: [ -> ]When critiquing I've noticed that everyone tends to have their own style, much like writing. What I wonder is which is more constructive for the writer, praise or criticism?

I guess one could argue it depends on the writer, but I'm curious what you think,

thoughts?

The question itself is flawed.  You pose it as if criticism is the opposite to praise, but it's not.  Criticism does not mean the same thing as censure.  It is not a negative thing at all -- it is merely a detailed comment.  That detail should always include positive and negative aspects, with constructive comments as to how something may be improved.  

If you only want half the criticism -- ie. just praise -- then Facebook might be a better place to post.  Or AllPoetry, they're quite big on blowing smoke up people's arses.

Ah, I see what you mean when you explain it. The word criticism to me has always had, mm not a negative connotation, but not a positive connotation to it either. I will admit this question stemmed from my own wonderings however of quite a few of these new fellows and their critiques. Alot of praise, alot of I like this and here's why, to which it led me to wonder if praise is at all constructive. What I really wanted to ask is "Is there any point to praise?" but I didnt want to sound like a dick Smile
It seems you've answered that as well  Big Grin
while Leanne is correct that you have posed a false dichotomy, i think what you really mean is: is pointing out the flaws in a poem more beneficial to the poet than pointing out the strengths? and actually, i think Leanne's comment is telling, because, again, as she says if you only want the positive half of the criticism go to a vanity site [meant disparagingly, i presume]; yet, if you want only the different half, the negative half, the half that tells you what's wrong, that's far more acceptable. why? well, i would suggest, thoughtful and informed 'negative' criticism is always productive, whereas praise is relatively static and self-contained. it builds confidence but practically rarely improves the quality of future efforts - unless, of course, you have found your voice and feel pretty confident that you are, indeed, a poet.
for example, i recently had nothing but praise for a certain poem posted here called 'lipstick'. one of the things i praised if for was it's use of form to represent the concept. now, what does the poet do with that? nods and says 'glad you liked it'. it doesn't move anything forward. on the other hand, his edit did not use this form which i saw as a detriment to the poem. this 'negative' criticism [that in changing the form the poem loses something] could conceivably cause a change. not necessarily, but the possibility is there - although, probably not cos' that fella's not been seen for dust.
the other thing is, so-called negatived criticism gives you a sort of conceptual space to be creative and original. and this is why the cliche is one of the best criticisms one can drum into a new poet. someone writes something cliche. tell them. they do it again. tell them again. eventually, they'll be looking for it themselves. and this isn't just about improving their writing, it is giving them space to be genuinely creative. basically, it is like chasing them down a bottleneck whereby they will pop out the other end into their own space of possibilities. and this is just one thing. even simpler is spelling [i've had my own led/lead problems today]. it would be pointless to praise someone's spelling. but point out a misspelling and it has some practical value.
but, this isn't to say praise is completely irrelevant. it certainly inspires confidence to continue; which is definitely why criticism shouldn't be all about the flaws.

NOTE: when i say flaws or 'negative criticism', i am pretty much talking about the fundamentals and what the intentions were of the poet. for example, i am sure no one really sets out to write a cliched poem, therefore it is a valid criticism and helpful and productive. and this comes down to the critic's judgement. there are of course grey areas of taste and all that, but the principle of 'negative' criticism being an active force remains. it is a bit like what Schopenhauer said about pain being positive and wellbeing being negative. he said something like one hardly notices their physical body when in a state of rest and comfort. . . but get a tiny little stone stuck in your shoe. . .

anyway, i am rambling on. . . s'wot i finks anyways.
sometimes it's really effective to tell someone "stop. your poem sucks, you suck, and spending your time regurgitating lyrics from a 90s pop band isn't doing anyone any favors. Seriously, this shit you just posted makes me wonder if it you'd be better finding a tall building. Jesus Christ. A deeper cut? really? That's what you came up with. Just shut the fuck up and slice up your arm, not across it. Thanks for the read"


but, I'm not allowed. It's easier to point at shit than to uncover gold. It might be wiser to dig for gold, but when I critique I generally settle for shit.
(07-01-2016, 07:28 AM)Weeded Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-01-2016, 06:01 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-30-2016, 04:04 PM)Weeded Wrote: [ -> ]When critiquing I've noticed that everyone tends to have their own style, much like writing. What I wonder is which is more constructive for the writer, praise or criticism?

I guess one could argue it depends on the writer, but I'm curious what you think,

thoughts?

The question itself is flawed.  You pose it as if criticism is the opposite to praise, but it's not.  Criticism does not mean the same thing as censure.  It is not a negative thing at all -- it is merely a detailed comment.  That detail should always include positive and negative aspects, with constructive comments as to how something may be improved.  

If you only want half the criticism -- ie. just praise -- then Facebook might be a better place to post.  Or AllPoetry, they're quite big on blowing smoke up people's arses.

Ah, I see what you mean when you explain it. The word criticism to me has always had, mm not a negative connotation, but not a positive connotation to it either. I will admit this question stemmed from my own wonderings however of quite a few of these new fellows and their critiques. Alot of praise, alot of I like this and here's why, to which it led me to wonder if praise is at all constructive. What I really wanted to ask is "Is there any point to praise?" but I didnt want to sound like a dick Smile
It seems you've answered that as well  Big Grin

When I first came here I was the same writing fool I am now but knew nothing about poetry except I knew what I liked. So in order to take part, I just pointed out what I liked and started to think about why. Eventually while I was pointing out what I liked I started to identify what might be improved. It's a fine path for newbs if they stick around, it's one way into the site for those of us who are relatively uneducated but love the sounds, images and ideas that words make.
(07-01-2016, 07:55 AM)shemthepenman Wrote: [ -> ]while Leanne is correct that you have posed a false dichotomy, i think what you really mean is: is pointing out the flaws in a poem more beneficial to the poet than pointing out the strengths? and actually, i think Leanne's comment is telling, because, again, as she says if you only want the positive half of the criticism go to a vanity site [meant disparagingly, i presume]; yet, if you want only the different half, the negative half, the half that tells you what's wrong, that's far more acceptable. why? well, i would suggest, thoughtful and informed 'negative' criticism is always productive, whereas praise is relatively static and self-contained. it builds confidence but practically rarely improves the quality of future efforts - unless, of course, you have found your voice and feel pretty confident that you are, indeed, a poet.
for example, i recently had nothing but praise for a certain poem posted here called 'lipstick'. one of the things i praised if for was it's use of form to represent the concept. now, what does the poet do with that? nods and says 'glad you liked it'. it doesn't move anything forward. on the other hand, his edit did not use this form which i saw as a detriment to the poem. this 'negative' criticism [that in changing the form the poem loses something] could conceivably cause a change. not necessarily, but the possibility is there - although, probably not cos' that fella's not been seen for dust.
the other thing is, so-called negatived criticism gives you a sort of conceptual space to be creative and original. and this is why the cliche is one of the best criticisms one can drum into a new poet. someone writes something cliche. tell them. they do it again. tell them again. eventually, they'll be looking for it themselves. and this isn't just about improving their writing, it is giving them space to be genuinely creative. basically, it is like chasing them down a bottleneck whereby they will pop out the other end into their own space of possibilities. and this is just one thing. even simpler is spelling [i've had my own led/lead problems today]. it would be pointless to praise someone's spelling. but point out a misspelling and it has some practical value.
but, this isn't to say praise is completely irrelevant. it certainly inspires confidence to continue; which is definitely why criticism shouldn't be all about the flaws.

NOTE: when i say flaws or 'negative criticism', i am pretty much talking about the fundamentals and what the intentions were of the poet. for example, i am sure no one really sets out to write a cliched poem, therefore it is a valid criticism and helpful and productive. and this comes down to the critic's judgement. there are of course grey areas of taste and all that, but the principle of 'negative' criticism being an active force remains. it is a bit like what Schopenhauer said about pain being positive and wellbeing being negative. he said something like one hardly notices their physical body when in a state of rest and comfort. . . but get a tiny little stone stuck in your shoe. . .

anyway, i am rambling on. . . s'wot i finks anyways.

Damn shem, this is straight inspiration right here for both parties. It makes me want to write as well as write crit. It's basically everything I was trying to say but didnt know how, very dope.

I like what you said about the bottleneck, just cuz it makes so much sense, it could probably be a line in a poem, it sucks tho because i basically feel like im stuck inside that bottleneck, and i cant get out.

But if negative crit helps how you say,
then i should start writing some bad poems.

Ha nah just kidding, thats actually one of my worries about negative crit,

that is allowing your own expectations of yourself to diminish due to the fact youre not worried that it sucks,

which leads me to wonder,

can poetry be taught, or is it supernatural, a gift of sorts,

is there any point to even workshopping at all...?

now im rambling... dont answer that last bit hah

(07-01-2016, 08:33 AM)Pdeathstar Wrote: [ -> ]sometimes it's really effective to tell someone "stop. your poem sucks, you suck, and spending your time regurgitating lyrics from a 90s pop band isn't doing anyone any favors. Seriously, this shit you just posted makes me wonder if it you'd be better finding a tall building. Jesus Christ. A deeper cut? really? That's what you came up with.  Just shut the fuck up and slice up your arm, not across it. Thanks for the read"


but, I'm not allowed. It's easier to point at shit than to uncover gold. It might be wiser to dig for gold, but when I critique I generally settle for shit.

I mean if you dont care that every bad poem you comment on gets moved to The Sewer(hehe) I say go for it, but you're gonna be more of a flak gun than a sharpshooter, just sayin.

(07-01-2016, 10:09 AM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-01-2016, 07:28 AM)Weeded Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-01-2016, 06:01 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]The question itself is flawed.  You pose it as if criticism is the opposite to praise, but it's not.  Criticism does not mean the same thing as censure.  It is not a negative thing at all -- it is merely a detailed comment.  That detail should always include positive and negative aspects, with constructive comments as to how something may be improved.  

If you only want half the criticism -- ie. just praise -- then Facebook might be a better place to post.  Or AllPoetry, they're quite big on blowing smoke up people's arses.

Ah, I see what you mean when you explain it. The word criticism to me has always had, mm not a negative connotation, but not a positive connotation to it either. I will admit this question stemmed from my own wonderings however of quite a few of these new fellows and their critiques. Alot of praise, alot of I like this and here's why, to which it led me to wonder if praise is at all constructive. What I really wanted to ask is "Is there any point to praise?" but I didnt want to sound like a dick Smile
It seems you've answered that as well  Big Grin

When I first came here I was the same writing fool I am now but knew nothing about poetry except I knew what I liked. So in order to take part, I just pointed out what I liked and started to think about why. Eventually while I was pointing out what I liked I started to identify what might be improved. It's a fine path for newbs if they stick around, it's one way into the site for those of us who are relatively uneducated but love the sounds, images and ideas that words make.

Ella,

Yeah, youre very right. This is a workshop after all.

Guess I am just beginning to notice stuff that makes me wonder other stuff Smile
I don't care personally if every bad poem gets moved to the sewer. I mean, I don't want any of my bad poems ending up there.. But other than that sounds swell ^_^
Pages: 1 2