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Professional Guidelines on Critical Essay Creation

I'll be talking about critiquing poetry, ..

In 1911 some of D.H. Lawrence's poems and his story found their way, without his knowledge, to the desk of the editor of the , Ford Madox Hueffer (later Ford). Ford was astonished and invited Lawrence to meet him, which the poet did with superb reluctance. Ford reinvents the meeting in 1937, recalling how, 'He had come, like the fox, with his overflood of energy - his abounding vitality of passionate determination that seemed always too big for his frail body.' Ford included the work in the English Review, talked up the new writer, and handed on his first novel, , to Messrs Heinemann. It is hard to understate the impact that Ford had on the literature of his age. His work as a magazine editor alone ensures him a place in the annals of Modernism; his patronage, his successful as much as his squandered aid - to Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Hudson, Pound, Conrad, Joyce, Stein, early Hemingway, Cummings, Rhys and others remembered and forgotten - is a huge chapter of literary history. As well as being an enabler, he was also a great critic, with the ability to read the present and re-read the past with independent vision.

Some trivial points: Bring a poem that will be accessible in the time allotted and not deprive the others of time to get their poems critiqued.

the limitations of mainstream poetry

This is the chief error of fact in my critics. They are positivists; apparently know nothing of poetry, history, or religion except their physical obstructive presence as words, events, and ceremonies. But I never, not in my earliest boyhood, was superstitious. I never expected fictions to interfere with or prolong physical processes. In this sense I never believe in another world that coexisted with this one. What I suffered from was distaste for this world, and liking in pure speculation, in a sort [of] challenge, to say "Life is a Dream". It was not the Bible stories or the Church dogmas that troubled me. I was perfectly at home with them; but being dreams, and exercising no compulsion over me or my actions, they were all more or less welcome, according to the imagination and emotion that belonged to them, as to Greek or Shakespearean tragedies[.] The idea of your friend (and of all positivists) that it is the outside, the cultus, that attaches people to the Church is based simply on ignorance. Most Catholic crowds have little aesthetic perception; but they have dramatic sympathy; they feel the catharsis of the passions evoked, and the ceremonies merely stage the play that fills the imagination. But when people have no imagination (or take such as they have for true knowledge of fact) they cannot conceive anything of human importance, history, poetry, religion, or art, as anything but true or false reporting of physical events in our world. If our world was a dream (and so it actually is in its sensuous or imaginative dimensions) it will vanish for each of us when we die. Nothing will probably succeed it for us: but other dreams are probably present to spirit at other times, seeming other worlds. Our good dreams (poetry) are, however, a part of our world, its best part, because they are focussed on what is, for us, most congenial. There is therefore no conflict in a disillusioned mind, between science and poetry, or religion well understood.

A critic should help the poet distance himself from his poem and view it from a variety of viewpoints.

In 1911 some of D.H. Lawrence's poems and his story found their way, without his knowledge, to the desk of the editor of the , Ford Madox Hueffer (later Ford). Ford was astonished and invited Lawrence to meet him, which the poet did with superb reluctance. Ford reinvents the meeting in 1937, recalling how, 'He had come, like the fox, with his overflood of energy - his abounding vitality of passionate determination that seemed always too big for his frail body.' Ford included the work in the English Review, talked up the new writer, and handed on his first novel, , to Messrs Heinemann. It is hard to understate the impact that Ford had on the literature of his age. His work as a magazine editor alone ensures him a place in the annals of Modernism; his patronage, his successful as much as his squandered aid - to Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Hudson, Pound, Conrad, Joyce, Stein, early Hemingway, Cummings, Rhys and others remembered and forgotten - is a huge chapter of literary history. As well as being an enabler, he was also a great critic, with the ability to read the present and re-read the past with independent vision.

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Audre Lorde | Poetry Foundation



But critiquing is not just saying "I like the poem." Fellow poets, to the extent that they are professional, are able not only to say what they like and dislike, but what in the poem creates that effect.

Coopersmith Career Consulting | NCCRS

I know talented poets who consider critiquing a bad, useless and/or dangerous thing, others who have it confused with teaching a beginner how to write poetry and others who simply don't know how to begin.

Mary Oliver | Poetry Foundation

In 1914, Basil de Selincourt in his work, Walt Whitman: A Critical Study, fights desperately against the homosexual innuendos and imagery in the "Calamus" poems, failing to name directly, in the process, th...

Texts - Essays, Moral and Political (1741-42, 1777)

(By successful, I mean that you feel you've improved the poem as a result--and probably others feel that too.)

This point is tricky, since there's a temptation to show off by giving your critics the work you're most proud of.