DAY 44: Getting critiqued on a poetry website

14 Oct

I'm not saying I'm like Dorothy Parker; I'm saying I like her lamp.

I WONDER what it’s like having people critique your lyrics. I bet it’s not very nice, is it? I vow to set myself up for a taste of that medicine by sending my own poetic meanderings to a messageboard dedicated to verse and feedback.

I decide to submit ‘Firewater’ and ‘Taillights’ (with apologies to Buffalo Tom’s ‘Taillights Fade’), two songs I wrote in my early twenties. It’s tragic the other poets won’t be able to hear the heartrending melodies, but what can you do?

At first I register under what I reckon what would be a suitably ‘poetic’ name, Remorticia. Then I tell myself not to be such a fucking arse and change it to my actual name. I mean, choosing the former’s like reading someone’s horoscope out in a mystical voice and waving your fingers around, isn’t it? Just don’t do it.

Now, where to post. ‘The Sadness’ is a thread of “heartache, lost loves, suffering and pain. (Please post poems about suicide and death in The Tragedy)”. So ‘Firewater’ can go there.

‘The Tragedy’ is “downfalls, sorrowful conclusions, death, misfortunes and world tragedies”. So we’ll send ‘Taillights’ there.

“Very smoothe write I loved reading it. You are a great writer :)” is the first comment under ‘Firewater’. So evidently even if English isn’t your first language, my words resonate powerfully.

“Deeply written, great job,” comes another, temporarily satisfying my constant need for approval.

‘Taillights’, meanwhile, isn’t faring so well. “You know, if I over-thought things,” begins one critic with 8142 comments under her belt on a poetry forum, “mneh mneh mneh mneh.” Or words to that effect.

I can’t resist a snarky comeback, then immediately realise I may have taken it the wrong way. And at least she hasn’t given me 2.5 stars and a patronising slap on the arse in a national magazine.

Keeper? Might be a useful exercise in avoiding passive aggressive outbursts.

One Response to “DAY 44: Getting critiqued on a poetry website”


  1. DAY 122: Leading the zombie parade to death and/or glory « Hey man, now you're really living - January 3, 2011

    […] what heckling feels like though, just as it was good to find out how it feels to have your lyrics critiqued. Yeah… don’t like […]

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