I’ve won scholarships to Bread Loaf Writers Conferences for both my poetry and prose, and that was over 40 years ago when it was a vibrant Writers Workshop Environment. I’ve edited and been Editor-in-Chief for an award winning (Pushcart) Literary Magazine, again, many moons ago.
All those things mean nothing, other than I had a wonderful couple of years when I was exposed to and hung out with some incredibly interesting writers/poets/thinkers. I gave up that life (as a vocation) because I was greedy and didn’t have the self-discipline to toil for decades doing readings, teaching at some snowy University, and publishing stuff through small esoteric presses.
I’m not concerned with the opinions of those who think anyone showing the decency and compassion to read someone else’s work and then offer a critique is ever practicing “pettiness.”
You indeed solicited feedback through the forum. It allows “comments” at the end of each posting. And, I’m glad you have the conviction and soul to reply back to my reply… Yes, the “barf” comment was uncalled for and disrespectful. For that, I am sorry… I have become so cynical about most of the “poetry” I see coming out of the schools, the thinking, and the culture of America, I threw you (unfairly) into that whole group of whiny whoa-is-me writing. You’re actually a very good writer, though I think you might be too concerned about “forms and devices” that limit your good ear and ability to construct good imagery and rhythm.
Yes, you’re right: “a flood of honey” is a great thing/line; but, again, I don’t think the lead-in to that line earned you the right to get full credit for it. That was my point.
It’s hard — as your note clearly says — to ingest criticism, but if you trust that the person giving it is doing so (when it comes to writing) because they care enough to help, then, even if they’re wrong, they’re never wrong…