Evaluative Criticism

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 2:42 am

Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:32 am

The other day I came upon this quote from the poet Vernon Watkins:

"I consider destructive criticism worthless as far as poetry is concerned, and evaluative criticism worthless too. Out of the vast body of poetry that exists I recommend you to read what you like most. Read one poet at a time....Poetry deserves concentration, and it cannot get this in an anthology where different talents jostle for a place in your mind."

I think he's saying it doesn't matter whether a poem is 'good or bad' (evaluative criticism), but whether a poem strikes a cord with us and we like it. That's the true test, the touchstone, and we all have different tastes and different touchstones.

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Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:29 am

Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:02 am

Hi Jim,
I have learned from responses to poems. I have used those responses to experiment. However, we are all different and tastes are subjective.


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Thu Dec 02, 2021 9:11 pm

Yes, I've learned a few things too :)

Jim, which poets do you like?

Best wishes,
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