Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Poetry: Forums

Poetry and Writing
Poetry Forums: Navigating the Cybernetic Nebulae
By Devrie Paradowski

What to Search

Poetry falls just short of celebrities, spam, porn and Internet marketing in the vast continuum of cyber-space searches. That means poetry is surprisingly popular on the Internet. Finding a poetry community to share your works won't be an overly difficult task; however, finding one that fits your specific aim can get you feeling as though you are a character in the not-yet made movie, "Lost in Cyberspace."

There are several types of forums for different types of poets.


The show-and-tell
The hard-core critique
The ghost town forum
The ego trogh
no-spell-ums 4ums

The Show-and-Tell

If you are not particularly interested in having your work dissected by the serious critique forum, but you'd like to share your poetic experiences, perhaps you should look for a show-and-tell. These are communities where the members will give casual feedback on poetry, and usually, the feedback is heavily centered on the theme of the poem rather than the process of the poem.

The Hard-Core Critique

If you aren't prepared or experienced in getting serious critique on your poetry, you might be taken aback by these types of forums. The members will give you their honest thoughts on your piece, and you'll soon find out that a first time post rarely yields strictly positive comments.

A good critique forum will have members who read a lot of poetry and actually know what to look for in a good piece. These folks will comment on your structure, internal rhyme, general rhyme, awkward wording, abstract and concrete imagery, and your overall cohesion. You don't have to blindly follow the members' advice, but arguing and rationalizing the flaws in your poem will get you nowhere. Also, keep in mind, that a good critic will also point out the strengths in a poem, so it isn't all that scary.

Also, your poem might go unnoticed until you give a few well-thought comments on other members' poems. People can sometimes be apprehensive about giving a good critique to a poem until they know how that person critiques a poem.

The Ghost Town Forum

You probably won't want to join this forum, but it can have it's benefits. A "Ghost Town" forum is a forum that doesn't seem to have very many members. "What," you may ask, "could possibly be the benefit of this?" Well, it's a clean slate. If you know of other poets who have the same aim as you, you can invite them to the forum. You can lead discussions and critiques in a style that will benefit those who do have the same aim as you.

Also, some "ghost towns" are actually very new. Some of them might quickly shoot up in popularity, and if you decide to stay with the forum, you can oftentimes build long-time relationships with the members.

The Ego Trough

There are forums out there where the sole purpose seems to give other poets a pat on the back. No, wait, where the poets are searching for pats on the back. It might feel pretty good to post your poem on a forum and get a response such as "Wow, this is so great. You're talented. I can so relate to this." Keep in mind that there is usually very minimal feedback going on in these forums, and a lot of times, it seems that the praise is generated in hopes of having someone come back and praise their own poems.

Some of these "Ego Troughs" were created by poets who were hoping to showcase their own poetry. For many, poetry is the ultimate expression of the soul, so the fact that people are hoping to garner a plethora of praise is understandable. The benefit of such a forum is that it can make you feel good about yourself, and it can help you to gain the confidence you want in order to move forward with your poetry. The consequence is that you might never develop the actual art and process of writing a good poem.

The No Spell-ums 4ums

There are some forums out there that seem to be developed by the youth of cyberspace. Unless you are a teenager (and even then), I really don't see much use of these kinds of forums. These are the forums where even the poetry uses that new-fangled text-speak. Responses to these poems are even in text-speak, you know, "Ur so gr8!" I cringe at the idea of a poem that uses that kind of language, unless it is a parody or something.

I suppose poetry is relative, and even poetry spans the meaning and spelling of words.

The Bottom Line

Before posting your poetry in a poetry forum, lurk around a bit. Also, the very first thing you should do is determine what you really want to get out of a poetry forum. If you are really uber serious about developing your work, perhaps you should search for a closed community, but email the moderator and ask a lot of questions before jumping in. You can join one of those closed communities before posting your work, too. Check out the site and look at the things the other members are saying.

Here is a final list of things to consider when searching for a community:


The Member Size. A REALLY big member base can have your poem lost in a matter of seconds.

Publicity. If it is an open forum, even non-members can read your poem. Do you really want or mind that?

Sign in or not? Even open forums usually require a member sign-in. If not, the forums may be subject to flamings and spam.

Paid Membership? You might wince at the idea of paying for something you can get for free; however, a paid membership can filter out those who aren't serious. Just be sure to ask a lot of questions before paying the dough (which shouldn't be much more than $30 a year.)

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Devrie_Paradowski

Poetry and Writing

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I've decided to wait,just to sit back and look
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Have a happy....
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