How to Handle Rejection for New Poets

Poetry comes from the heart. The very fact of your creating it makes you vulnerable. You probably are inspired by intense emotion or an event of significance in your life. Ie. death of a beloved grandparent. So what do you do when your heart is on the page or screen and someone criticizes it? It can feel like a stab to the heart. Here are some tips.
Since you are a poet you have to learn two things. Not only how to create your poems with style but also how to critique. Critique is different than criticism.
Critique means you read it, you think about it. If you don’t like a word or line,
You ask yourself why. If you do like a word or line, you ask yourself why. It isn’t enough, as a writer, just to read words and gush, ” OMG I LOVE that.”
Don’t get me wrong, we all like to hear it but.
You need to find maybe a teacher or relative or poetry pal you trust, who will not only say they love what you write, but who will also have the courage to tell you honestly where it might do better.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE ANY CHANGES BASED ON CRITIQUE/FEEDBACK! It is your poem. You made it, you own it. However, note I used the word ” trust”. When you give critique to a poet yourself, you probably don’t want to make that person bleed, correct? Who can learn if they are hurting so badly they can ‘t even think? And who would feel good about themselves doing that to someone? I have witnessed a group of writers attack one member like a pack of hyenas. It was not pretty. If you have something negative to say or feel that you do not like a poem someone just read, I know for a fact, if you read among all the words and lines, you will be able to find one, at least, that pleases you. So you might say this: ” I really like that word “Evanescent” in the second to last line. Great choice!” Any poet hearing that will feel encouraged to keep going. DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.
In your lifetime as a poet you will be asked to read a lot of stuff that never should see daylight. However we, as poets, are not in the business of judging and feeling superior. We are simply all artists struggling along through life, making creations to process our experiences. Through them we may find companionship and less loneliness.
DON ‘T DEFEND EVERY PEARL OUT OF YOUR PEN OR KEYBOARD LIKE ITS THE LAST NATIONAL TREASURE. There are zillions of poems out in the world. Lots and lots of poets and poetry for all palates. If you immediately start defending it, you close your mind. You aren t letting anything hurtful in, but you are also depriving yourself of the chance to let in some learning as well.

Remember, whoever is giving an opinion, it is only one person. You can learn as much from opinions you don’t like as you can from positive ones. As a matter of fact, if we never heard critique that laid bare what needs improvements, we would never grow and evolve as poets.

Today’s trivia challenge: who was a famous woman poet who did not major in creative writing in college, but won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry? Hint: she was watching an interview type show on TV where someone was talking about poetry writing. She thought, ” Oh, I can do that!”


One Response to “How to Handle Rejection for New Poets”

  1. clover58 Says:

    Very interesting information!

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