Patrick's Poetry Reviewing Tips
|When a WDC member asked Patrick for some tips on reviewing poetry he had the following suggestions:
First, let me relate to you that, I, also, used to write forgettable poetry and I wasn't a fan of reading for the very reason you describe: because I didn't understand good from bad. Since I have been here, however, it has clicked for me and not only do I now understand poetry, I am writing decent poems as well. Here are some tips that you can use to get better. If you follow these, you WILL begin understanding poetry as a reader and writer:
Read reviews of poems from people on the site. I recommend looking at my "Passionate Mindscapes" reviews under the "Community" tab in my port. My girlfriend, Mandy , and I run the poetry group, and we have reviewed dozens of poems over the months. Please, also look at hers. I would recommend reading her Invalid Review of item "Invalid Item" to start off.
Feel free to read my "Invalid Item" and my girlfriend's "Invalid Item" These are two of our favorites and we think they show how poetry conventions can work to create a quality poem.
Read lots of poetry on the site. I recommend DRSmith , Teargen , warriormom and SWPoet . ((I promise I didn't pay him to say that! ))
Review, review, review poetry on the site ... and then review some more of it. After that, take a nap, and review more.
Use this resource to understand terminology and conventions. Mandy and I use it religiously. I recommend reading it all the way down. Retention begins by reading.
One last thing: warriormom just published the first "Invalid Item" Review Newsletter, and she gives excellent advice on how to review poetry. Here is an excerpt:
"Poetry is not so scary to review. You start where you are in your reviewing skills and grow as you learn, just as with any type of review. Certainly, it is nice to be able to tell the author the technical parts of his poem that were effective. However, this is NOT necessary. Few of us are well-educated in writing poetry. If we focus on writing a helpful review, then everyone, from beginners to seasoned reviewers, can write reviews that really count.
Before you start your poetry review, be sure to read the poem out loud. Yes, out loud. Poetry is all about flow and rhythm, sound and senses, and visual appeal. Let yourself experience the full effect of the poem.
Then share your reactions with the poet. Which lines stirred your emotions? Which of the five senses did the poem evoke? Did the poet choose words that heightened the experience for the reader?
If it is a structured or form poem, give the author credit for the added task of making the poem fit the rules of the form, while creating a meaningful message. I always mention my appreciation when he takes the extra time to provide the rules of the poetry form at the bottom of his poem. If he fails to provide this information, I respectfully encourage him to do so in the future, letting him know that it is helpful for me to understand the form so that I might give the poem a more helpful review, and that it is educational for me as I gradually become more familiar with different forms."