Suzanne Frischkorn’s latest post: “Who Do You Share Your Poems With?”, is an intriguing one. It forced me to answer a question that exploded (or perhaps imploded) into many other concerns with regards to poetics & my poetry. I found the responses to the question posed by Suzanne at least as interesting as the original one.
What is implicit in the query is the importance of the process of revision that every poet must face when considering an early draft of a poem or one that is in the “not just there yet” category. The question here is: Is feedback a necessary evil (or an evil at all for that matter)? Some of the poets that responded to the question believe that a reader’s reaction to their work is beneficial while others would rather figure it out themselves trying to exclude the possibility that their poetry be tinged (tainted?) by an outside source.
Is a poem that we receive feedback to - no longer “our” poem? Do we sacrifice originality, perhaps even our voice & style - when we open the door to outside critique? What role, if any, should critique of our poetry play in the creative process? Or is critique “anti-creative” leading to a “poetry by committee” paradigm? These concerns all crossed my mind during my scrutiny of the issue.
Yet poets have been critiquing each other’s work for centuries. Surely, this poetic tradition cannot be valueless. I hope to come back to this & post a further analysis.