Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quick critique

I just got an e-mail from Judith, entitled Hey. As I know and love a Judith, I opened this e-mail and read

pithy detank
armed coiner check small.
gantry small spun otto.
deer held scar billet!
melt precis armed melt.
self ulna pithy nobble?
labile cyder endue unbare!
billet under as doubt?
coiner detank.
detank bemuse lake spawn!

As my dear friend Judith is also a poet, and a good one, I read the whole thing. (the original is much longer, but frankly, after the bemused lake spawn, the narrative lost its flow). We often critique each other's work via e-mail but this time I thought she could just look it up on my blog.

Judith: this lacks your regular clarity and capacity for deep emotional connection. And let us never forget that an exclamation mark in a poem is like telling the reader "You are too stupid to realize this is important." ("!") While I would normally suggest removing the offending punctuation, in this case perhaps it is necessary, as I am, apparently, far too stupid to understand much of your poem until the lake spawn is bemused by the dual detanking of the coiner and the pithy. Or perhaps the detanking of the coiner was a pithy phrase. Seriously, J, this is not a step in the right direction for you, in my humble opinion.



(*Hope This Helps. That's the way I sign stuff, sometimes. It often means "I have been a heavy handed critiquing jerk, but I'm putting this obscure acronym here at the end as a pretend stab at self-deprecation so you'll forgive me for it. Love ya! Tootles!")

(**the first letter of my first name. Why I can't be bothered to type out my entire name is a mystery to me. It's five letters, it rolls off my fingertips without thinking (although I do an astonishing ability to consistently spell it wrong even though it's been my name my ENTIRE LIFE) Sometimes I even have to back space and erase most of it to sign my e-mail in this clever code. Don't ask me.)


Slow'n'Steady said...

I haven't gotten one of those since I got a Mac.

Anonymous said...

I'm just tooooo simple-minded to even be critqued...let alone understand what was written. Yipes! CA

Colleen Taylor said...

Oh my goodness, Susan. I was bemused the first time, but when I tried to read this out loud to my brother I laughed so hard I couldn't talk and my eyes squirted!

Colleen Taylor said...

and my face hurts