Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-critique May 17, 2015

Filed under: Poetry,Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 8:39 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I love the simplicity

of this collection,

but it’s

bordering on saccharine


syrup on my waffles,

but not




(I had an official poetry critique by a famous writer/poet today.   I have never had my poetry critiqued by anyone ‘in the biz.’  This is the summary of the observations on the 20 or so love poems submitted.  😉  Apparently I should aim to be a *bit* edgier.  I think this is quite wonderful, actually).


16 Responses to “poem-critique”

  1. Only authentic maple syrup belongs on waffles. Your poems are the real deal

  2. MW Moore Says:

    That’s wonderful (please define “edgier).

    • Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?
      I am to guard very carefully against cliche, which is fairly straight forward, but being a little less ‘sweet’ seems to be the definition of edgy in this context.

  3. PrairieChat Says:

    Perhaps he is asking for a little more wild rasberry and a hint of red rhubarb.

  4. kiwiskan Says:

    Yes, I’ve been scared to share my first ‘official’ critique – it wasn’t bad but said it was a bit lacking in depth…

    • That’s not a very specific comment. How does one measure depth in a poem? In a pool, sure, but a poem? Hmm.

      • kiwiskan Says:

        Thanks Shawn. Seems that long poems are all the rage now – and I’m a minimalist… 🙂

      • I’m not sure about that. Most of the poetry books I find are not full of long poems. On the other hand, the performance poems- by the slam poets- are long, but that’s a slightly different genre of poetry. I suppose I’ll know better after I’ve sent these out to the world. The pro liked their brevity because overwriting and over-emoting and self-aggrandizing appear in the longer ones. I felt quite hopeful when I was done my session.

  5. syl65 Says:

    Syrup is sweet and I like waffles, they go hand in hand 😉 Those people in the biz need to lighten up just a little..

    • Oh I don’t think so. They’re described as dangerously close the the verge, but with a lovely simplicity. I think it was a quite accurate description, and the small adjustments suggested (a title here, a line there) were well supported. It was a good session.

      • syl65 Says:

        That’s cool that you’re good with it. Constructive criticism is good as long as it’s not over the top.

      • The point of a blue pencil is constructive feedback. If someone with years of experience in the writing world, many books, many contacts, MFA instructor, is willing to give me advice, I’m going to listen! Some things I’ll take. Somethings I’ll evaluate and maybe leave. But I’ll listen. It’s the people who think criticism of their project is criticism of their person that have trouble. If someone pointed out you hadn’t cleaned the posts on your car battery, and that’s why it’s not starting properly, you wouldn’t be offended, you’d be grateful that someone could offer specific suggestions to help you. 🙂 I work reallllllly hard to get my students to understand this. I think it might be the most important thing they can learn in a creative writing class. It will stand them in good stead throughout their lives in any discipline.

      • syl65 Says:

        Most definitely, Shawn. We take the the advice and critique from those that are more experienced and use it to help develop, grow, and evolve in our own writing/field. Taking what is useful and going from there. Thanks, Shawn.

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