General Poetry

Posting Guidelines

Poets and poetasters of the Internet, unite! Here's the place to post or read if you're not looking for extensive critical commentary, rather feedback of a more general nature.

Before you consider posting, please read these guidelines in full:

Welcome to the General Poetry forum of the Poetry Free For All. As the sign says, this is the place to post your work if you're not looking for extensive critical commentary. However, as you read in the Posting Guidelines - what? You didn't read the Posting Guidelines? Hold it right there, buddy, and go read them right now. No, I mean it. I'm not going any further until you read the Posting Guidelines.

Now that you've read the Posting Guidelines, you'll notice they say that all forums are for critical commentary, more or less. Here in General Poetry, it's less. However, this does not mean that it's non-existent, nor that you can strip naked and start dancing on the furniture (unless we're not speaking figuratively). There are guidelines, and the guidelines must be followed or you will likely be chastised, moved Outside, and/or banned. The Posting Guidelines you have just read - and you have read them, right? - are the über-guidelines. Those apply to all forums. Below are the ones which apply specifically to this forum:

1. The Posting Guidelines state that you can post one poem per forum per day. A day is 24 hours. Do not post a poem at 11:56 pm Eastern Standard Time, then wait five minutes and post another one at 12:01 am.

2. For every one poem you post, we ask that you provide three comments to other people's poems in this forum. These three comments you provide should specifically relate to the poem itself. Try to keep the personal chit chat down to a minimum. We have the Watering Hole forum for that.

When you do comment on the poem, please provide at least one specific, concrete reason why you liked or didn't like the poem. We ask that it relate to the poem itself, and not to the content therein. That is, we'd prefer not to hear that "this poem flowed real good and I liked it because when I was 6 my dog died too." The word "flow" is not specific (nor is "passion", "feeling", "power", or "emotion"), and it does not tell the writer of the poem anything useful. Try to give the writer something that would help him or her improve the poem, that relates to the words the writer uses rather than the ideas the writer wants to communicate. All we ask is for one specific, concrete comment. Then 2 more. Then you can post another poem. As long as 24 hours have passed. At least. Preferably more. But 24 hours is the minimum. Did I mention you're only supposed to post one poem per forum per day and that a day means 24 hours? I did? Oh, OK then.

2a. When you give that one specific, concrete comment, remember that this is the General forum. Comments should generally be easy-going, polite, and relatively relaxed. Although some people will have a desire to mimic the style of certain brilliant-but-somewhat-less-than-courteous participants in the forums, it is not appropriate here.

3. If you react childishly to the comments you receive, your have forfeited your right to the benefits of guideline #2a. You may expect a less-than-polite response from the moderators. We have no patience whatsoever for tantrums or whining.

4. If you want more in-depth critique, which could mean that you'll hear a lot more things you didn't want to about your poem but also that you could learn more about how to improve it, please type "(Please C&C)" in your subject line after your poem title. "C&C" stands for "Comment & Critique". Remember guideline #3 above: respond to all comments with grace and without childishness. This may help you improve your poems and get to the next level, so listen to what people have to say about your poems and bite your tongue if you feel a kneejerk reaction coming on.

You can also post to the General C&C forum if you so choose. There, however, we prefer you provide even further critique for your 3 comments, and if you do not feel prepared to go beyond one specific, concrete reason why you like or don't like a poem, then you should probably stay in General.

To help you on your way to improving your poetry and to learning more about how to read poetry and look at it objectively, here are some links which can help you in that process:

The Poetry Free For All, above all else, is a poetry workshop. Other forums may be far more relaxed with their guidelines. The reason that the guidelines here are stricter is that, whereas the primary purpose of many internet poetry forums is to allow you to share your poetry, here the primary purpose is to help you learn about poetry and to encourage critical thinking. That's what this is all about.

We hope you've enjoyed these guidelines. To continue, click the link below:

I have read and understood the rules for posting in General Poetry
and will now bumble onward into the fray.