37 votes

Why don't you comment on poetry?

I post a fair amount of poetry to Tildes, with the hope of getting feedback or starting discussion.

Yet, as you can see from looking at the poem tag, there generally isn't any kind of discussion on poetry posts. Even Bishop's departure post only received six comments.

So, why is this? What stops you commenting on poems? I would like to have discussions about what I write with the people here. I don't know if there's something I can do to make it easier to engage with me regarding my work, or if there's something else preventing the discussion.

69 comments

  1. [4]
    cardigan
    Link
    As a rule I never try to interpret (more like dissect) art. Most art criticism is a kind of violence, taking a living thing and taxonomically severing it to death. So I can only write about how...

    As a rule I never try to interpret (more like dissect) art. Most art criticism is a kind of violence, taking a living thing and taxonomically severing it to death. So I can only write about how something made me feel, or didn't make me feel; I'm reticent to share my feelings about anything.

    23 votes
    1. [2]
      mieum
      Link Parent
      The work of art is aesthetic experience—an experience as such. Criticism is auxiliary to the work, and is no substitute for the direct experience of it. However, criticism is meaningful to the...

      The work of art is aesthetic experience—an experience as such. Criticism is auxiliary to the work, and is no substitute for the direct experience of it. However, criticism is meaningful to the degree that it enriches the experience of the work. Even without performing a vivisection, though, you can still respond meaningfully to works of art. Arguably, aesthetic appreciation itself is basically critical, because it entails the imaginative accommodation of meanings as they are integrated in the work to express a pervasive quality that unifies them as an experience. You might say, “art speaks for itself,” but listening is not passive. Anyway, that’s just my two cents about art critique.

      12 votes
      1. cardigan
        Link Parent
        This is a great response, and gives me a lot to think about. Thanks very much.

        This is a great response, and gives me a lot to think about. Thanks very much.

        4 votes
    2. anahata
      Link Parent
      I'd never heard of art criticism as a form of violence. This is definitely something to think about. I'm initially inclined to disagree, because the criticism doesn't actually affect the work, but...

      I'd never heard of art criticism as a form of violence. This is definitely something to think about. I'm initially inclined to disagree, because the criticism doesn't actually affect the work, but merely stands besides it. I'm most familiar with games criticism, and the critics I'm most fond of clearly had / have a lot of love for their medium and don't "sever [the works] to death". Also, I should be clear that I'm not looking for interpretations, I'm looking for thoughts and reactions. But you've said you don't share your feelings about things, so that's fine too. :)

      5 votes
  2. [4]
    Davada
    Link
    I don't want to be a dick, and since I have nothing nice to say, I say nothing. I haven't liked any peom I've seen on Tildes. Simple as that. Sorry.

    I don't want to be a dick, and since I have nothing nice to say, I say nothing. I haven't liked any peom I've seen on Tildes. Simple as that.

    Sorry.

    20 votes
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      Yeeaaaa. Gonna have to echo this sentiment. BUT, also... there's another element at play. It's harder for me to judge the aesthetics of poetry vs., say, music or visual art..or even prose. So, my...

      Yeeaaaa. Gonna have to echo this sentiment.

      BUT, also... there's another element at play. It's harder for me to judge the aesthetics of poetry vs., say, music or visual art..or even prose. So, my default assumption when reading amateur poetry is that it isn't very good.

      I've written my fair share of poetry that I assume is bad, for what it's worth.

      9 votes
    2. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      Not sure what you're apologizing for; you stated a point in a respectful way. I would be curious to hear any criticisms you're willing to give, though.

      Not sure what you're apologizing for; you stated a point in a respectful way. I would be curious to hear any criticisms you're willing to give, though.

      3 votes
      1. Davada
        Link Parent
        In regards to your poems specifically ( I made sure to read them all a few times before making this reply), I feel like the main two issues that I have when reading most of them are jarring shifts...

        In regards to your poems specifically ( I made sure to read them all a few times before making this reply), I feel like the main two issues that I have when reading most of them are jarring shifts in tone and a failure to keep to any particular rhythm within the poem.
        These may be stylistic choices that you've made. This could be the feeling you wanted to evoke.
        Or it could just be accidental, something you will strive to improve over time.
        The reason I don't make my opinions known is because if it is as you want it to be, then it's pointless to critique it. Alternatively, if you are sharing these from a vulnerable place, having someone say "Hey, I don't like these poems. They aren't up to my standards. Blah blah blah cadence blah blah blah imagery blah," isn't going to feel good. And I don't want to cause any more pain when is seems you already feel enough of that. Different people take criticism differently, and I have no way of knowing what it is you seek to gain from posting.

        7 votes
  3. [4]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I simply am not a fan of poetry. Just as I am not a fan of many things. Thus I have nothing to bring to the conversation and so I don't.

    I simply am not a fan of poetry. Just as I am not a fan of many things. Thus I have nothing to bring to the conversation and so I don't.

    16 votes
    1. [3]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      That's fair. I'm seeing similar sentiments in a lot of the comments here. Beginning to think this may not be the best community for sharing poetry (at least not at the moment).

      That's fair. I'm seeing similar sentiments in a lot of the comments here. Beginning to think this may not be the best community for sharing poetry (at least not at the moment).

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        If you would like for it to be a good community, you'll need to help it grow organically into that community. Understanding from an artists perspective what kind of posts and feedback you're...

        If you would like for it to be a good community, you'll need to help it grow organically into that community. Understanding from an artists perspective what kind of posts and feedback you're looking for would be very helpful to those who are reading the poetry posts but unsure how to participate. Perhaps you can provide your perspective?

        13 votes
        1. anahata
          Link Parent
          Yep. I'm trying to do that, and this post is part of that. A number of folks have said that they're not sure what kind of response I'm looking for, so I'll be making it clear what I'm looking for...

          Yep. I'm trying to do that, and this post is part of that. A number of folks have said that they're not sure what kind of response I'm looking for, so I'll be making it clear what I'm looking for when I make posts. In sum, I'm looking for constructive criticism first, workshopping, any appreciation.

          3 votes
  4. [3]
    Whom
    (edited )
    Link
    I like poetry and I like when people submit poetry here, it's been a big inspiration for getting me to get started in that world myself! Thing is, I feel like I turn to poetry when I want to...

    I like poetry and I like when people submit poetry here, it's been a big inspiration for getting me to get started in that world myself!

    Thing is, I feel like I turn to poetry when I want to express the nuances of something which I can't do through any other kind of writing or art. It's about making the small big or the big small. When I try to approach it with other kinds of words, it misses everything that makes poetry special. The only way I see around that is responding in poetry myself...but shit, that's embarassing and high effort!

    Note that that isn't something I apply to others, in fact I like it a lot when others write about poetry, it's just my personal barrier.

    also probably worth mentioning that having a tech-oriented userbase means arts which don't typically appeal to that crowd are a tougher sell than usual...

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      I appreciate that the poetry on this site has inspired you! Would love to see anything you write, even if you think it's garbage (though I understand if you don't want to share in that case). Yes,...

      I appreciate that the poetry on this site has inspired you! Would love to see anything you write, even if you think it's garbage (though I understand if you don't want to share in that case).

      Thing is, I feel like I turn to poetry when I want to express the nuances of something which I can't do through any other kind of writing or art.

      Yes, this is the case for me, as well. I like playing with alliteration, rhyme, ornate or esoteric (and often archaic) vocabulary, and so on. I'm verbally-inclined, not visually- or otherwise creative, but the kinds of playing with words and language I mentioned above don't work in prose. So I write poetry instead.

      The only way I see around that is responding in poetry myself

      This is a fascinating response in several senses. First, I never thought of responding in verse myself; I'm quite happy responding in prose. Yes, my responses are constrained by the limitations of prose we've described, but that typically hasn't been a problem for me. That said, responding in prose doesn't carry the artistic conversation forward in the same way that responding in verse does. A poet responding to a poem in poetry feels fitting, but really, should that be a requirement? I don't think so. We have a lot of great writing about poetry (and other arts), so why not poetry? I actually feel like making that a requirement is a bit gatekeepy, but that's a topic for another post.

      Note that that isn't something I apply to others, in fact I like it a lot when others write about poetry, it's just my personal barrier.

      This doesn't just seem to be your personal barrier; check the other comments here and you'll see the sentiment expressed elsewhere.

      also probably worth mentioning that having a tech-oriented userbase means arts which don't typically appeal to that crowd are a tougher sell than usual...

      There's that, but I'm hoping to achieve a few things. First, I'd like to show that techy folks (I work as a software developer, I've been a sysadmin, etc.) can be creative, and second, I'd very much like nontechy creative folks to feel comfortable and that they have a home here just as much as the reddit-esque techy folks do.

      3 votes
      1. Whom
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I have some writing on my awful mobile-hostile website. I'm not proud of my work there but it felt good to do. Just stuff I copy over from my casual ideas notebook. I don't think so either, that's...

        I have some writing on my awful mobile-hostile website. I'm not proud of my work there but it felt good to do. Just stuff I copy over from my casual ideas notebook.

        should that be a requirement? I don't think so. We have a lot of great writing about poetry (and other arts), so why not poetry? I actually feel like making that a requirement is a bit gatekeepy, but that's a topic for another post.

        I don't think so either, that's what I meant by the "personal barrier" bit. I'm plenty satisfied with when other people respond normally and there's fuckloads of good writing on poetry out there. I just personally don't feel like I can get out what I want to without doing so. Poetry's so much about the particulars but talking about it always feels like I'm getting caught on generalities.

        First, I'd like to show that techy folks (I work as a software developer, I've been a sysadmin, etc.) can be creative

        Mostly unrelated, but have you looked at the zine that lainchan users put together? Not to imply that "techy but artistic" is a small niche by any means (or a niche at all, really), but I think this appeals a lot to people who are...consciously techy and artistic. Creativity on the web as an ideological stance...something like that.

        2 votes
  5. [3]
    vivaria
    Link
    Poetry from people I know is hard for me to read, let alone comment on. When written to convey a feeling, it comes across as so raw and personal and vulnerable... it's like peering into someone's...

    Poetry from people I know is hard for me to read, let alone comment on. When written to convey a feeling, it comes across as so raw and personal and vulnerable... it's like peering into someone's soul, or something. It feels too bare for me... it's like I've stumbled into a changing room with someone half-naked inside. Just a gut reaction of "oh god, I'm sorry, I didn't know anyone was in here" while shielding my eyes.

    So, I kind of just... never click on submissions?

    I guess poetry as a medium is also unfamiliar to me... typically I'm used to song lyrics as my go-to catharsis, but poetry, I guess, is different? I'm not sure how to approach it, or how to read it, or experience it.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      vivaria
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I guess, um... there's also this kind of writing style about (certain kinds of personal) poetry that seems to rub me the wrong way? Where it feels like someone took normal prose writing, but added...

      I guess, um... there's also this kind of writing style about (certain kinds of personal) poetry that seems to rub me the wrong way? Where it feels like someone took normal prose writing, but added a very um... contrived cadence and intentionally potent language? Like... it feels too forced and unnatural, with really vivid language and imagery that feels... too colorful? It's like neon to me, it just bulldozes me over with its point.

      I think I've tried writing before, too, when I was at my lowest, and looking back at what I wrote, I sort of... cringe? Like I was trying too hard with language that was too flowery and too "poetic" trying to get across the pain I felt. And I just get a gut punch of confused and knotty feelings when I read that in someone else's words, knowing that they wrote that in a vulnerable place, knowing that they want to get across how they feel too. (edit: not to suggest that other people's writing is cringy, moreso that it takes me back to the vulnerable, desperate place i was when i last wrote something)

      (sorry for all of the ellipses and trailing question marks... this is a sensitive subject and i feel uncertain, and don't want to say something clumsy or hurtful about people's writing)

      EDIT: You can tell by most of my comments that my own writing style is kind of rambly and train-of-thought ish. I spew thoughts into long paragraphs, grasping at metaphors and ideas. I don't really have any formal practice in taking that and sculpting it into efficient, potent bits of poetry. I don't know much about good form or structure... it's overwhelming, so I wouldn't know how to provide constructive input.

      13 votes
      1. anahata
        Link Parent
        Going to reply to both comments here to keep things tidy. That's exactly the point! I can understand feeling socially awkward in that kind of setting, though. Song lyrics are poetry (well, most of...

        Going to reply to both comments here to keep things tidy.

        When written to convey a feeling, it comes across as so raw and personal and vulnerable... it's like peering into someone's soul, or something.

        That's exactly the point! I can understand feeling socially awkward in that kind of setting, though.

        I guess poetry as a medium is also unfamiliar to me... typically I'm used to song lyrics as my go-to catharsis, but poetry, I guess, is different? I'm not sure how to approach it, or how to read it, or experience it.

        Song lyrics are poetry (well, most of the time)!1 So how is "poetry poetry" different from "song lyric poetry" for you? It's okay to not have an answer to this, I am just very curious about your thoughts here. And ironically enough, I find most song lyrics to be dreadfully boring and uninspired, always about the same few topics and never introducing any creativity or originality. There's so little metaphor and imagery, too. This and this are some of my favorite songs because they embrace metaphor and imagery so much, as opposed to a lot of pop music. These songs tell stories, like what song (and thus poetry!) used to do, many, many years ago.

        I think I've tried writing before, too, when I was at my lowest, and looking back at what I wrote, I sort of... cringe? Like I was trying too hard with language that was too flowery and too "poetic" trying to get across the pain I felt.

        There's a freedom in poetry that provides the space for this kind of thing. Restraint is definitely one of the most important skills for a poet, but at the same time it can be fun to play as well. Not every poem has to be a "product" meant to be read by others.

        And I just get a gut punch of confused and knotty feelings when I read that in someone else's words, knowing that they wrote that in a vulnerable place, knowing that they want to get across how they feel too.

        This actually suggests you're in a better place to appreciate and enjoy poetry than most people, because you're having an emotional reaction and that's precisely the point. It sounds like the emotions are too powerful to appreciate the art, though, and you have my sympathies.

        I don't really have any formal practice in taking that and sculpting it into efficient, potent bits of poetry.

        I don't have formal training, and I'm not sure what you mean by "formal practice", I just (to borrow a phrase from Neal Stephenson) dick around. I absolutely do not believe in gatekeeping the arts behind credentials or experience.

        2 votes
  6. [6]
    balooga
    Link
    When I browse Tildes, I'm basically feed-scrolling. I'm in the same mode of fast content consumption that one would be on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. My brain is ticking with a cadence...

    When I browse Tildes, I'm basically feed-scrolling. I'm in the same mode of fast content consumption that one would be on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. My brain is ticking with a cadence that's not very compatible with media that require extended focus. In fact, on Tildes I have literally filtered out the long read topic tag because lengthy articles are just too disruptive to the mental space I'm in here.

    I feel guilty about it but I don't blame myself. Volumes have already been written about the effect social media is having on attention spans around the world.

    Anyway, that's the preface to my comment— not because I want to solve the attention problem here, but to explain why I can't read poetry here. Poetry demands your attention. To appreciate it, you have to ruminate on it. The times I've found poetry the most meaningful were at dedicated poetry events, hearing it spoken aloud by the author with full emotive and rhythmic nuance. In my opinion, the kind of poetry often shared on Tildes fits into that category; I can't scan through it mid-feed and take anything away from it before my eyes drift down to the next tech blog or news headline.

    Interestingly, there are poetic styles I find more digestable in written form. A couple of my favorite poets are Lord Byron and Shel Silverstein. The two are highly dissimilar! But both were masters of meter and rhyme, which I find lend structure to the silent-reading experience. And both had a narrative approach to poetry, describing literal scenes and telling satisfying stories. Contrast with free-form poetry, which ebbs and flows like jazz music, describing abstract feelings with no grammatical constraints... the latter requires a lot more mental heavy lifting from the audience.

    So I guess all that is to say, I personally feel most poetry on Tildes demands too much from me to read within its context on Tildes. So I pass it by.

    13 votes
    1. [4]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      How do you find Tildes is for you, if you're feed-scrolling like any other site?

      How do you find Tildes is for you, if you're feed-scrolling like any other site?

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        balooga
        Link Parent
        Not sure I understand the question, but Tildes is a feed of content aggregated from different sources. It's high-quality content that is relevant to my interests, but there's still a high enough...

        Not sure I understand the question, but Tildes is a feed of content aggregated from different sources. It's high-quality content that is relevant to my interests, but there's still a high enough volume of it, and enough variety, that this is how I use the site. Is your experience different?

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Well, theoretically, the content posted here will be less geared towards fast consumption and more towards things that require at least some degree of reflection that dopamine-dispensing TikToks...

          Well, theoretically, the content posted here will be less geared towards fast consumption and more towards things that require at least some degree of reflection that dopamine-dispensing TikToks and the like are engineered away from. I'm wondering what the appeal of Tildes is for you if you're in the same mindset here as on the sites it tries not to be like. How do you determine/appreciate the quality of anything posted? Do you open a bunch of tabs in the background and skim through them? Do you find you abandon stuff halfway through? What are you looking at on your home page?

          I don't mean to mind your business, it's genuine curiosity.

          1 vote
          1. balooga
            Link Parent
            There's enough good content on my front page that I look into most topics. If a link points to a video, song, "long read" article, or some other thing that's going to demand some extended...

            There's enough good content on my front page that I look into most topics. If a link points to a video, song, "long read" article, or some other thing that's going to demand some extended attention, I'll usually pass over it. There are situations where I will invest the time, but those are the exception to the rule. Generally if it's a link to a blog post or article, I'll skim it and digest the important parts. I enjoy reading and engaging with the discussions on Tildes too, so I try to keep up with comment threads on stuff I'm interested in.

            I appreciate Tildes because the stuff on here is not stupid memes, reaction videos, ads, rants, and the site is probably still below the radar of coordinated disinformation campaigns and troll farms. I might use it like Reddit or TikTok but there's a baseline of content quality here that acts to filter out the noise on those other platforms.

            There are parts of Tildes that have other kinds of content on them but I generally curate my experience to omit them.

            3 votes
    2. anahata
      Link Parent
      That is a perfectly cromulent way to use the site. I should be clear, here, that I'm not trying to be judgmental about why people aren't commenting on poetry. I asked why, and I'm okay with any...

      When I browse Tildes, I'm basically feed-scrolling. I'm in the same mode of fast content consumption that one would be on Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. My brain is ticking with a cadence that's not very compatible with media that require extended focus. In fact, on Tildes I have literally filtered out the long read topic tag because lengthy articles are just too disruptive to the mental space I'm in here.

      That is a perfectly cromulent way to use the site. I should be clear, here, that I'm not trying to be judgmental about why people aren't commenting on poetry. I asked why, and I'm okay with any and every answer people can give. I'm curious, not annoyed or anything like that.

      I feel guilty about it but I don't blame myself. Volumes have already been written about the effect social media is having on attention spans around the world.

      Nothing to feel guilty about. You have your own reasons for your usage patterns and no one has the right to judge you for your choices. Those choices lead to different interaction patterns than mine, and that's fine.

      Anyway, that's the preface to my comment— not because I want to solve the attention problem here, but to explain why I can't read poetry here. Poetry demands your attention. To appreciate it, you have to ruminate on it. The times I've found poetry the most meaningful were at dedicated poetry events, hearing it spoken aloud by the author with full emotive and rhythmic nuance. In my opinion, the kind of poetry often shared on Tildes fits into that category; I can't scan through it mid-feed and take anything away from it before my eyes drift down to the next tech blog or news headline.

      And I wasn't expecting or asking you to solve the attention problem; I don't even think there is an attention problem. Sure, folks don't tend to comment on poetry, but that's fine. I should be clear that I'm not about forcing folks to change; I'd merely like to know what prevents people commenting so I can make changes. You have some great points about poetry requiring rumination, and another commenter made an astute point that the nature of how threads are shown on Tildes makes it hard to find the poetry on the site without looking for it.

      Interestingly, there are poetic styles I find more digestable in written form. A couple of my favorite poets are Lord Byron and Shel Silverstein. The two are highly dissimilar! But both were masters of meter and rhyme, which I find lend structure to the silent-reading experience. And both had a narrative approach to poetry, describing literal scenes and telling satisfying stories. Contrast with free-form poetry, which ebbs and flows like jazz music, describing abstract feelings with no grammatical constraints... the latter requires a lot more mental heavy lifting from the audience.

      I grew up with Shel Silverstein's children's poetry books (Homework, oh Homework! I hate you, you stink!), so I absolutely know what you're talking about. I have to wonder if I can adopt Silverstein's readability while talking about heavier topics. This is something I'll want to play with, so I thank you for the inadvertent piece of advice!

      So I guess all that is to say, I personally feel most poetry on Tildes demands too much from me to read within its context on Tildes. So I pass it by.

      And that's entirely fine. And entirely reasonable. Thank you for the earnest and honest response. :)

      3 votes
  7. [6]
    acdw
    Link
    I'm not sure what the purpose of posting the poetry is, usually. I came up doing workshops, so if I post something, I generally want it to be workshopped/discussed with an eye to what works, what...

    I'm not sure what the purpose of posting the poetry is, usually. I came up doing workshops, so if I post something, I generally want it to be workshopped/discussed with an eye to what works, what doesn't, etc. However, I don't know why others post their poetry -- is it to be admired? to be a discussion-starter? to also be workshopped?

    If there were some way to know what the author was looking for in the comments, I'd be more interested in commenting. But I don't want to get in an argument online because I posted some suggestions that were poorly received.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      Sahasrahla
      Link Parent
      I wonder if it might be useful to have a ~feedback or ~criticism group. Not for poetry specifically or even just creative writing, but for any project people have that they want to solicit others'...

      I wonder if it might be useful to have a ~feedback or ~criticism group. Not for poetry specifically or even just creative writing, but for any project people have that they want to solicit others' opinions on.

      6 votes
      1. vivaria
        Link Parent
        This could also be accomplished by ingraining "ask.feedback" into Tildes culture, too. Ask.recommendations/ask.survey/ask.advice are already pretty commonplace!

        This could also be accomplished by ingraining "ask.feedback" into Tildes culture, too. Ask.recommendations/ask.survey/ask.advice are already pretty commonplace!

        9 votes
      2. acdw
        Link Parent
        Honestly, I like this even better than @anahata's idea. But it would take mod action.

        Honestly, I like this even better than @anahata's idea. But it would take mod action.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      I appreciate any kind of response, really. Constructive criticism, reflections, discussion, workshopping, all of it. I was thinking about using a tag like "feedback request" or being more direct...

      I appreciate any kind of response, really. Constructive criticism, reflections, discussion, workshopping, all of it. I was thinking about using a tag like "feedback request" or being more direct in the OP. Would you find that kind of thing helpful?

      Thank you for this logistical feedback; it was something that I had in mind myself so I appreciate the confirmation that it's required. I'll start including a note along those lines in my poetry posts.

      3 votes
      1. acdw
        Link Parent
        A "feedback request" tag is a GREAT idea! Awesome. I'll try posting more in the new year as well.

        A "feedback request" tag is a GREAT idea! Awesome. I'll try posting more in the new year as well.

  8. [2]
    sleepydave
    Link
    I read and voted on your 'Untitled Mental Health I' piece earlier today - I liked it for sure but didn't comment mostly because I'm not a poet or writer by any stretch of the imagination, so I...

    I read and voted on your 'Untitled Mental Health I' piece earlier today - I liked it for sure but didn't comment mostly because I'm not a poet or writer by any stretch of the imagination, so I don't know if my opinion would be of any value to you in the first place. If you're looking for constructive feedback though I would say it has all the right content but lacks some of the imagery I would want to see in a piece like this - you were on the right track with lines like "the castle compromised" and "away from the swords and arrows of fire" (sorry if I'm getting these wrong, trying to write from memory) but when I read through it a second time the first few lines seemed a bit bland or lacking in vocabular depth by comparison. Like I said though, take advice from strangers on the internet with a grain of salt since there's a fair chance they have no idea what they're talking about :)

    8 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      I find this response very interesting. You say you're not a poet or a writer, but you've given me very specific (and useful!) feedback that seems to be spot-on. You're right in that the first few...

      I find this response very interesting. You say you're not a poet or a writer, but you've given me very specific (and useful!) feedback that seems to be spot-on. You're right in that the first few lines could use some more work. I definitely do take advice from folks with a whole pillar of salt, but you seem to be objectively correct here. Thank you! This kind of thing is exactly what I was hoping for.

      2 votes
  9. [3]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    I see a lot of "because I don't like poetry" comments here, but I just wanted to contrast that with my own feelings on the matter. I personally really enjoy reading poetry (E.g. 💖 Rumi) and...

    I see a lot of "because I don't like poetry" comments here, but I just wanted to contrast that with my own feelings on the matter.

    I personally really enjoy reading poetry (E.g. 💖 Rumi) and absolutely love seeing other users express themselves through that medium here on Tildes. However, despite that I still don't usually comment on them, and I think that is because I honestly don't feel like I have the vocabulary to properly express what I enjoyed about a particular poem... and just leaving a "this was great!" type comment feels a bit too Noise-tag worthy. The same goes for most submissions to ~music as well; Unless I have something substantial to add, like a link to another song by the same artist that I also enjoyed and think others might as well, I tend to just vote on the submission and then move on.

    So I suppose what I am trying to say is, just because lots of people here in ~talk have expressed that they don't like poetry, and poems in ~creative don't get many comments, please try not to take that as a definitive indication that they aren't appreciated. At least by some of us, they genuinely are... but we just don't necessarily feel like we have much to add by commenting on them, is all. :)

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      Oh boy. I have thoughts1 about Rumi, something that I will want to explore in a future post but I'll hint at below. This is great to hear! It encourages me to post more knowing that folks...

      Rumi

      Oh boy. I have thoughts1 about Rumi, something that I will want to explore in a future post but I'll hint at below.

      I personally really enjoy reading poetry (E.g. 💖 Rumi) and absolutely love seeing other users express themselves through that medium here on Tildes.

      This is great to hear! It encourages me to post more knowing that folks appreciate seeing my work. :)

      However, despite that I still don't usually comment on them, and I think that is because I honestly don't feel like I have the vocabulary to properly express what I enjoyed about a particular poem... and just leaving a "this was great!" type comment feels a bit too Noise-tag worthy.

      This is a pretty common sentiment in this thread. Really, even a specific "this is what I like about this, whereas this part doesn't work so well" would be great, as that kind of thing helps me understand what people like and don't like. Part of the artist's education comes from reading other poets, but part of it needs to come from feedback and critique.

      So I suppose what I am trying to say is, just because lots of people here in ~talk have expressed that they don't like poetry, and poems in ~creative don't get many comments, please try not to take that as a definitive indication that they aren't appreciated. At least by some of us, they genuinely are... but we just don't necessarily feel like we have much to add by commenting on them, is all. :)

      And this helps, a lot, actually. Thank you! There's an internet phenomenon referred to as Warnock's Dilemma which applies here. Knowing that folks appreciate my work even if they're silent does help, though of course something more interactive would help more. :)

      1Most of what you see quoted as "Rumi" is not actually what the poet wrote; instead, it's a reinterpretation by Coleman Barks, someone who doesn't know Farsi and instead rewrites existing translations to exploittarget "new age" markets. Being that I live on a yoga mat, I hear a lot of this, and I want to have a discussion here about appropriation and artistic integrity. But that's for another thread.

      2 votes
      1. cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        LOL! Yeah, I found out about Coleman Barks' "translation" issues a while ago now, but wasn't aware of that when I initially fell in love with his Rumi books well over a decade ago. So I suppose...

        LOL! Yeah, I found out about Coleman Barks' "translation" issues a while ago now, but wasn't aware of that when I initially fell in love with his Rumi books well over a decade ago. So I suppose it's probably more accurate for me to say "💖 Coleman Barks" than Rumi at this point, since even though I now know the truth about his books, I still love them as is. :P

        However, since learning of that I actually did take the time to track down and read some far more accurate, scholarly translations of Rumi's works, and still found them just as compelling... though admittedly in a much different way. So I totally understand where you're coming from, and why you want to talk about all the implications of what Barks did, since I would love to do that too!

        even a specific "this is what I like about this, whereas this part doesn't work so well" would be great

        Yeah, that makes sense and is something I would feel comfortable doing. I will give it a try (already did, in fact). :)

        1 vote
  10. [4]
    HanakoIsBestGirl
    Link
    I dont have much to say. I cant form proper responses to it. However I still do like reading it and vote on it. The most I can comment is "I enjoyed that" which isnt much and is better conveyed by...

    I dont have much to say. I cant form proper responses to it. However I still do like reading it and vote on it. The most I can comment is "I enjoyed that" which isnt much and is better conveyed by a vote.

    I also think it is partially down to the way things get sorted here. Because there is not much comment activity on the comment threads of poetry, Tildes does not promote it as much and less people see it, which means less people comment. A lot of poems I straight up never see. At least I think thats how it works anyway.

    6 votes
    1. bilbodwyer
      Link Parent
      This is where I'm at as well - I read, enjoy, upvote, and move on. I'm not a poet, so I can't offer much in the way of criticism or advice. Sometimes I notice a nice running metaphor (the castle...

      I dont have much to say. I cant form proper responses to it. However I still do like reading it and vote on it. The most I can comment is "I enjoyed that" which isnt much and is better conveyed by a vote.

      This is where I'm at as well - I read, enjoy, upvote, and move on. I'm not a poet, so I can't offer much in the way of criticism or advice. Sometimes I notice a nice running metaphor (the castle in Mental Health I for example), but I'm not going to comment just to point that out, because that feels like noise to me. The metaphor is plain to see for all that read it, and they don't need me to tell them it's there, or what to think and feel while they read.

      5 votes
    2. [2]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      Thank you for your honest answer. :) Are you able to narrow down what you like about something? Even that is helpful, and can't be conveyed by a vote. That is a particularly astute observation...

      Thank you for your honest answer. :) Are you able to narrow down what you like about something? Even that is helpful, and can't be conveyed by a vote.

      That is a particularly astute observation about the way sorting works on Tildes. If most folks are like me, they browse from the front page which shows all their subscriptions at once. And as a result we see what you've so accurately described. Thank you for this perspective.

      1 vote
  11. TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    Honestly, I don't think commenting on poetry is usually a useful or proper response—not unless it's already an established and previously understood one. Poetry is a particularly dense format...

    Honestly, I don't think commenting on poetry is usually a useful or proper response—not unless it's already an established and previously understood one. Poetry is a particularly dense format among artistic media, where a scant few lines and words could hold an entire essay's worth of commentary. Commenting in general is inherently pithy, I suppose. Poetry is extremely personal in many ways and it doesn't feel like a simple comment would respect that vulnerability and risk from the poet. I see a few comments here mention that they once dabbled in poetry but come out of it feeling like it was bad, or cringey—and that's perfectly alright. Poetry (really, any creative writing) is meant to be a personal expression ("Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" said Wordsworth) and as long as it's let out, that's fine. Not everyone's diaries are worth publishing either, but it's not like anyone looks down on someone keeping one.

    But, at the same time, if it doesn't inspire a level of deep thought or meditation on a subject or emotion, then it's hard to come up with a suitable discussion about the poem. I think what a lot of people classify as a "good poem" is one that inspires the reader's own sentiments, whether they're aware of it or not.

    @balooga's sentiments also apply to me as well. Poetry takes a lot of effort to read, and it requires a certain mindset established before delving in. I don't really come to Tildes for that sort of mindset, so it does feel out of place (through absolutely no fault of the poem, or the poet). It's kind of like meditation. To do it, one may need to set the atmosphere and mood before they engage. It's not exactly something one can just turn on and engage with, which leads to the inability to form those personal connections as a reader that would make the poem resonate properly.

    If anyone is interested in learning how to read or appreciate poetry, though, I recommend Perrine's Sound and Sense to get an idea of what one should look for. It's a helpful textbook to explore different aspects, with examples, and develop an understanding of what you personally appreciate in the format.

    6 votes
  12. [2]
    grahamiam
    Link
    Honestly as someone who reads a ton and edits some and grades a lot of writing, I don't read other people's unpublished creative writing unless they're friends or paying me. If work has been...

    Honestly as someone who reads a ton and edits some and grades a lot of writing, I don't read other people's unpublished creative writing unless they're friends or paying me. If work has been published somewhere and gone through a few editors/gatekeepers then I'll check it out, but I don't have the energy to give to unvetted writing.

    6 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      That's a fair response. I can definitely understand how you feel fatigue from that kind of thing. Not everyone has to read everything, and I understand that.

      That's a fair response. I can definitely understand how you feel fatigue from that kind of thing. Not everyone has to read everything, and I understand that.

      1 vote
  13. [2]
    reese
    Link
    One time in a high school English class I was told to snap my fingers. This was after reading a poem that evoked no emotion to speak of, other than mild frustration over the author's inability to...

    One time in a high school English class I was told to snap my fingers. This was after reading a poem that evoked no emotion to speak of, other than mild frustration over the author's inability to speak plainly or summon compelling imagery.

    "Don't clap," said my teacher, "instead, at poetry readings, you snap your fingers to show appreciation."

    I had no intention of clapping nor snapping my fingers, you fucking psycho, I thought. After hearing one of the most pompous demands I've ever heard, and continue to hear in my head to this day, I can't say I've a good taste in my mouth on this subject. Since, I've read some poetry. I can dig pieces by William Blake, and a few others, to a limited extent. Occasionally I find modern stuff I like here.

    But I am stunted—not only am I poor at articulating my thoughts and feelings on poetry, I don't care to improve. It's not that I'm wilfully ignorant, so much as I recognize my time in a day is limited. There's a number of things I'd rather do. I imagine most people on Tildes, and probably in general, fall in this camp. I don't say this to discourage anyone from submitting poems here or anywhere else, but Internet poets may have to set their expectations for feedback accordingly.

    5 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      Being forced to show appreciation for something that you don't genuinely appreciate, especially in your formative years, can be so detrimental to viewing the art in a positive light. I never...

      One time in a high school English class I was told to snap my fingers. This was after reading a poem that evoked no emotion to speak of, other than mild frustration over the author's inability to speak plainly or summon compelling imagery.

      Being forced to show appreciation for something that you don't genuinely appreciate, especially in your formative years, can be so detrimental to viewing the art in a positive light.

      "Don't clap," said my teacher, "instead, at poetry readings, you snap your fingers to show appreciation."

      I never understood this convention. Is it supposed to be a gentler sound than clapping? Is it some rebellion against normal culture? So I sympathize with this.

      I had no intention of clapping nor snapping my fingers, you fucking psycho, I thought. After hearing one of the most pompous demands I've ever heard, and continue to hear in my head to this day, I can't say I've a good taste in my mouth on this subject. Since, I've read some poetry. I can dig pieces by William Blake, and a few others, to a limited extent. Occasionally I find modern stuff I like here.

      It can definitely be hard to find stuff you like. I'm reading a lot of greats right now (Bukowski and Dickinson and Whitman and Catullus (mentioned by Bukowski so I picked up his stuff)) and some works just don't hit me very hard. I'm sure I'm missing historical context or something else, maybe some personal context. Or maybe it could just be the usual de gustibus non est disputandum (there's no accounting for taste); my life experiences (and yours) may be so far removed from those of the poets you're reading that it's hard for you to identify with them and hard to appreciate their work. I know that I feel that way about a lot of what I've read, and I'm sure my writing about mental health is difficult for people who don't share my (or similar) issues to identify with. This is the nature of art.

      But I am stunted—not only am I poor at articulating my thoughts and feelings on poetry, I don't care to improve. It's not that I'm wilfully ignorant, so much as I recognize my time in a day is limited. There's a number of things I'd rather do. I imagine most people on Tildes, and probably in general, fall in this camp. I don't say this to discourage anyone from submitting poems here or anywhere else, but Internet poets may have to set their expectations for feedback accordingly.

      That is an entirely fair position to have and I do not begrudge you having it. I appreciate your forthrightness and honesty in this response. Given the comment made by Whom about the site's largely tech-leaning audience (and the repeated themes in responses to my post), I think you are indeed correct that a lot of folks just don't have the capacity to respond and don't have the time / motivation to develop that capacity. And again, that's fine. It's important to me that I'm clear that I'm okay with that. I do hope for comments on my work, but not if people aren't comfortable making comments. So, thank you again for being so candid.

      3 votes
  14. asoftbird
    Link
    I read and enjoy them as far as l'm concerned but l really suck at putting feelings into words.

    I read and enjoy them as far as l'm concerned but l really suck at putting feelings into words.

    5 votes
  15. [2]
    ubergeek
    Link
    Hrm... Tough one. Read most every poetry post that comes up. I don't like to critique poetry, as I am not a poet, and it's not my "speciality". I admire it, try to absorb what I can, do some...

    Hrm... Tough one. Read most every poetry post that comes up. I don't like to critique poetry, as I am not a poet, and it's not my "speciality". I admire it, try to absorb what I can, do some self-reflection, and move on.

    Most of all, in case it's the author posting it, I don't want to be a dick, and stifle their artistry, by critiquing it to their "face".

    5 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      In my case, I post because I want any kind of response, like I mentioned elsethread: constructive criticism, discussion, workshopping, appreciation, anything like that. I would like to think that...

      In my case, I post because I want any kind of response, like I mentioned elsethread: constructive criticism, discussion, workshopping, appreciation, anything like that. I would like to think that I'm mature enough and secure enough in my work that I won't get upset about criticism so long as it's presented constructively and is something I can use instead of "this sucks" or something like that (not that I expect something like that from Tildes). Thank you for asking for clarification; you're not the only one who's mentioned something like that, so I'll be sure to be clear going forward.

      1 vote
  16. monarda
    Link
    I don't know what you want me to say. I can tell someone that it touched me deeply, or I can tell someone that I feel their 'thing.' But I am mostly ignorant of the finer critiques of meter and...

    I don't know what you want me to say.
    I can tell someone that it touched me deeply,
    or I can tell someone that I feel their 'thing.'
    But I am mostly ignorant of the finer critiques
    of meter and rhyme and ... see I have not the word (or is it words?)
    I want to discuss your poetry
    I want to understand its technique
    and its meaning and its submeaning and
    (are there other things too that I do not know)
    but mostly I am just your idiot ear,
    so I only upvote.

    5 votes
  17. jgb
    Link
    I don't tend to have much to say. I have enjoyed several pieces of poetry posted here though.

    I don't tend to have much to say. I have enjoyed several pieces of poetry posted here though.

    4 votes
  18. [2]
    Loire
    Link
    Of all the art forms, poetry may be the most difficult to appreciate. When I read it I don't "experience" anything as I do with other art forms. It's meaningless to me. I don't really understand...

    Of all the art forms, poetry may be the most difficult to appreciate.

    When I read it I don't "experience" anything as I do with other art forms. It's meaningless to me. I don't really understand how to appreciate ot properly.

    4 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      It's not the most accessible art form, for sure. Thank you for your honesty and explaining your perspective. I'm seeing slight variations of this a lot, which definitely helps me understand. You...

      It's not the most accessible art form, for sure. Thank you for your honesty and explaining your perspective. I'm seeing slight variations of this a lot, which definitely helps me understand. You answered the question, so, thank you. :)

  19. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    There are some poems I like but I don't get much out of most poems I've read (even those published in places like the New Yorker that are presumably good), so I don't read them here. I think I'd...

    There are some poems I like but I don't get much out of most poems I've read (even those published in places like the New Yorker that are presumably good), so I don't read them here. I think I'd need some kind of endorsement to put in the effort.

    The same is true of YouTube music links, even though (some) music is important to me. I don't watch random videos; it has to be something I'm looking for, or based on a recommendation I trust. Or at least a genre I'm interested in for some reason.

    3 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      Other folks have said in this thread that poetry is the most complex art form (and my own grasping at mediocrity shows this). It's hard to appreciate something that you're not generally interested...

      Other folks have said in this thread that poetry is the most complex art form (and my own grasping at greatnessmediocrity shows this). It's hard to appreciate something that you're not generally interested in, and add onto that the inherent difficulty of poetry and indeed it can be hard to say something meaningful that isn't better expressed as a vote, as another commenter here said.

      I am very much the same way about music. I have diverse, yet quite eclectic, tastes, and I know what I like. Recommendation algorithms tend to be garbage, friend recommendations tend to actually be worse. It's rare that an algorithm or a person understands what "I don't like lyrics"ironic for a poet, I know means. Regardless, I understand your perspective, and thank you for sharing it.

      2 votes
  20. [2]
    ThisIsMyTildesLogin
    Link
    I hate poetry. I always find it a bit emo. I've tried to read both classic and modern poetry and neither resonated with me.

    I hate poetry. I always find it a bit emo. I've tried to read both classic and modern poetry and neither resonated with me.

    3 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      ... that's kind of the point. :P But I can understand that that's not for you.

      I always find it a bit emo.

      ... that's kind of the point. :P But I can understand that that's not for you.

      5 votes
  21. [2]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I often feel I don't have much insight or anything meaningful to offer in terms of critique. It's a longstanding limitation I've had with most art that I've mentioned before, and while I think...

    I often feel I don't have much insight or anything meaningful to offer in terms of critique. It's a longstanding limitation I've had with most art that I've mentioned before, and while I think I've progressed in general, poetry specifically still tends to go over my head (unless it's in a song, apparently). I do try to look at submissions and vote for what I like though.

    Actually, I would be very interested to see poetry critique and appreciation here of famous/published poets/works. There are more than a few that I've come across or have been sent throughout my life where I felt like I missed the point of that person sending it to me... I'd love to see if someone else can "translate" the intended sentiments, or just see how they relate to them.

    3 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      For what it's worth, I would've completely missed those connotations about the dance that you described as well. There is so much going on with artistic expression that it's impossible to catch...

      For what it's worth, I would've completely missed those connotations about the dance that you described as well. There is so much going on with artistic expression that it's impossible to catch everything.

      I wouldn't really be qualified to give any serious commentary on existing great works. I'm still very much a novice myself and don't have any kind of training. So if you're interested in amateur hour stuff, sure! But don't expect me to conform to the "expected" interpretations; I'm rubbish at that.

      1 vote
  22. reifyresonance
    Link
    I feel like the only response on the level of the post would be a poetic response, and I'm not remotely confident enough in my ability to do that to try.

    I feel like the only response on the level of the post would be a poetic response, and I'm not remotely confident enough in my ability to do that to try.

    3 votes
  23. [2]
    FishFingus
    Link
    I know so little about poetry that I fly beneath the Dunning-Kruger effect. And if anyone else is as sensitive about their poetry as I was (if I ever find it, I'll burn it), how could I unleash my...

    I know so little about poetry that I fly beneath the Dunning-Kruger effect. And if anyone else is as sensitive about their poetry as I was (if I ever find it, I'll burn it), how could I unleash my efforts at criticism on it?

    3 votes
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      I'm not looking for professional critique, just any kind of response would be lovely. That said, if you're uncomfortable with responding even in that capacity, that's fine, too. :)

      I'm not looking for professional critique, just any kind of response would be lovely. That said, if you're uncomfortable with responding even in that capacity, that's fine, too. :)

      1 vote
  24. [5]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm insensitive to most contemporary trends in internet poetry. I believe that is caused by some kind of cognitive impairment when it comes to certain patterns. I can only understand and feel the...

    I'm insensitive to most contemporary trends in internet poetry. I believe that is caused by some kind of cognitive impairment when it comes to certain patterns. I can only understand and feel the most elementary metrics (like pop songs), preferably rhymed. Most poetry posted here does not follow this outdated tradition. Oddly enough, I'm not a bad poet, but my poetry is simple, regular and rhymed. Again, like a pop song.

    I'd publish if it were in English.

    edit: I translated a few I posted on ~creative

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      anahata
      Link Parent
      I tend to take a very different approach to my lyrics than pop songs do, so it's understandable that some folks have a hard time with them. Thank you for posting your work! When I'm not buried...

      I tend to take a very different approach to my lyrics than pop songs do, so it's understandable that some folks have a hard time with them. Thank you for posting your work! When I'm not buried with responding to 30 comments I'll give them a read. :)

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        I commented on two poems, one of them by yourself. I'll make an effort to do that more often, I may be impaired but it is certainly interesting.

        I commented on two poems, one of them by yourself. I'll make an effort to do that more often, I may be impaired but it is certainly interesting.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          anahata
          Link Parent
          I don't think you're "impaired"; your responses are just as valid as anyone else's! :)

          I don't think you're "impaired"; your responses are just as valid as anyone else's! :)

          2 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            I mean impaired regarding the interpretation of some kinds of poetry. I'm not impaired when it comes to everything! :P

            I mean impaired regarding the interpretation of some kinds of poetry. I'm not impaired when it comes to everything! :P

            1 vote
  25. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't read poetry, mainly because I have no understanding of it and I don't know how to interpret it :/ (It's metaphors which turn to a compelling read even without rhyming I guess? No idea.)

    I don't read poetry, mainly because I have no understanding of it and I don't know how to interpret it :/ (It's metaphors which turn to a compelling read even without rhyming I guess? No idea.)

    1 vote
    1. anahata
      Link Parent
      That's entirely fair. I wouldn't expect you to read something you don't understand, so not reading poetry that you don't understand makes sense. Thank you for answering. :)

      That's entirely fair. I wouldn't expect you to read something you don't understand, so not reading poetry that you don't understand makes sense. Thank you for answering. :)

      2 votes
  26. diode
    Link
    I can't enjoy poetry; I can analyze it from a purely cerebral point of view and I can kinda feel the sounds made but I've never been able to feel any emotion from it. It's ironic because I was...

    I can't enjoy poetry; I can analyze it from a purely cerebral point of view and I can kinda feel the sounds made but I've never been able to feel any emotion from it. It's ironic because I was named after a poet.

    I hope the lack of comments doesn't discourage you because even if I can't enjoy it I appreciate that you've created art and put it here.

    1 vote
  27. mieum
    Link
    I haven’t been browsing Tildes very much recently, but if I come across something I’ll try and give it some thought. Like some others have mentioned, I don’t always know what to say in response to...

    I haven’t been browsing Tildes very much recently, but if I come across something I’ll try and give it some thought. Like some others have mentioned, I don’t always know what to say in response to a poem, and I don’t always feel inclined to say something anyway. Maybe because poems are an awkward fit in a so-called “feed” which is perused with such a short span of attention. Not that they don’t belong, of course. But most of the media shared on sites like this are fast and definite. Poems manifest as a kind of speed bump almost; most people will slow down for it, but only just enough that they don’t break their stride.