Well, poetry speaks to us in many ways and comes to us in different ways. It is that place where there are many of us rushing in, especially with this whole advent of the social media. Now, while a lot of people have argued and bashed people who write so-called bad poetry on their blogs and spaces like Facebook, I’ve told these ‘critics’ to cool down. We are simply moving with the times. No writer should be judged for such posts. The only time when such a person should be judged is when the poem has been put into a book. So to say, when the poet has declared it final.
Here’s my explanation. Back in the days, we used to write our scribbles and poems in our books. We would then share them with friends and colleagues for peer review. Our note pads, papers and all became the medium through which we shared these hurried scribbles and sometimes much worked on piece. It never meant it was the final part of the puzzle. It was the end in itself but the means towards the end.
That is what Facebook has come to mean today and a lot of blogs. It is that digital pad that we write our thoughts and offer to our increased community of ‘peers’ for review. Many poems have been critiqued and commented on on this fora and helped transform this piece. I am a living testimony of this.
So, if ever you have a poem that you want to share, don’t be scared, let it out. Emphasize that people should be honest in their critique and tell you what they think. IF they think it is bad, they should say so – but not stop there, because this is where most of us get it wrong. If they – you, or us – think it is bad, the next duty of peers or friendship and literary kinship is to point out what you think stuck out wrong. I think that if you take out ‘so so so so and so’ it will read better. The first two lines are heavenly but the last two are meant to be in the trash can. Hee hee hee. Well, we can be a bit less harsh…
And for all of us who are posting our poems on blogs and Facebook, don’t forget to copy them (and articles you love) to Microsoft Word and save them. One day you might want to publish and then find out it has been wiped off or that you have no access to your account. Aha!
Happy Writing…and please, yes, happy reading. We should read a whole lot more of the particular genre we profess for how do we grow if we remain static feeding from fading memories of things that our thoughts might have extinguished?
May the times be kind. Cheers!
Su’eddie Vershima Agema won the Association of Nigerian Authors Joint Prize for Poetry 2014. He blogs at https://sueddie.wordpress.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org @sueddieagema on Twitter.
First published on this blog in 2015.