How To Comment Effectively

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How To Comment Effectively

Post by BC Williams on Tue 31 May 2011, 7:09 am

...........So you've read a poem and you'd like to leave a comment. You put your fingers to the keyboard, pausing to think of what to say ............. NOTHING! Sweat bullets break out on your forehead. You really should leave a comment. You've taken the time to read the piece - so what's the problem, you ask yourself. Maybe you'll hit the back button and get out of there asap.

For whatever reason, friendly commenting for some folks may not be as easy as it is for others. Some feel they aren't knowledgeable enough about poetry to have an opinion. Maybe you've run into a piece that just doesn't suit your fancy. Or maybe, you've read a poem you feel is so good, you don't have the confidence to do it justice with your words.

It's really not that difficult. All of us have a voice and can write. You don't have to be an expert at poetry to say a few kind, uplifting, or even helpful words.

How does the poem make you feel? Have you read a piece that gives you goosebumps - makes you sad - makes you happy - touches your soul in someway? I guarantee the author would love to know this. Good poetry, whether constructed masterfully or not, will make you feel something. You'll read the heart of the poet in their words. Look for how their words make you feel, then tell them.

Marys-tears - your poem made me sad. It reminds me how much I miss my mother . . .

Do you identify with their story? The author paints a picture for you. It's a dark and stormy night in 1978. She has just given birth to a 18 lbs baby with green hair and red eyes. Well . . . who would a thunk it! Guess what - it was your 20Th birthday, June 16, 1978. You were in Mercy Hospital, downtown Whogoesthereville, delivering your first born. She about killed you. You labored 53 hours before pushing her 17 and 1/2 lbs body from yours. She had red hair - and get this - GREEN EYES! Bingo . . . you have something to share with the author.

Poetbigkid - I can't believe in 1978 you had a baby too!
Guess what . . . .


Do you appreciate the message the poem brings to you? We have a few poets capable of presenting many fun and enlightening facts through their poetry. Maybe they've successfully taught you about the 400 mating songs in a grasshopper's repertoire. Fascinating, you say . . . so tell them you appreciate how enlightening their poem is.

Catchamuse - I've wondered just how in the world a grasshopper could be so LOUD! Now I know . . . .

Is there a verse or sentence in the poem, that grabs you? This often happens, that a certain line or an entire verse effects you. It's perfectly wonderful to let the author know this. They will realize you value their work, and have been touched by it.

Mandy - I love this: The tiny child's face was never quite seen but its hand stirred gently within the rose . . .

Do you recognize the poem as being well constructed? You may not know a thing about meter, or be able to recognize a ballad, blank verse, or hyperbole. But I bet you see the the author has used what is called poetic device well. Let them know you recognize their effort and appreciate it.

Hey Finaganrhyme - Just wanted to say your poem here is put together well . . . .

Are you a gal or feller with a simple vocabulary? In the end, not everyone is capable of grand articulation. Truthfully, you may feel the poem wasn't that good. Don't feel you have to comment on a piece you don't identify with. You don't need to feel you must make grandiose remarks about a poem, either. Not every poem will be magnificent, brilliant or Masterful. We may feel tender toward the author and want to make them feel special about their work. Best though, leave brilliant and magnificent to those very few works of greatness you'll read. Be realistic in your commenting. You'll feel more comfortable, and the author will gain better insight from you as a reader.
Try real comments, like: Wonderfully written, Poetseyes! - Great effort here, Maude! - I appreciate your talent, Kelly.

With a bit of thought, you too, can make effective comments on others work. It doesn't take much, just a willingness to share yourself with those who share with you. After all, isn't that why we're all here?

Dec. 2007 by BC Williams

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