Corning Community College the Ideal Man Poem


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1) You post a poem that you might want to put in your final portfolio. You haven’t written much for the course, so this workshop is mostly for you to get used to sharing and responding to others. Use the Haikus or use the poem that is due on 9/21 if you have it ready or (and this is big) you aren’t finished with it, but you’re stuck and you need help.

If you need help, be sure to direct people who will respond to you (including me) to the place you need help. Say why you’re stuck or ask where to go next. You could even try out a new poetic technique and ask if it seems to work.

2) Wait for someone to respond. Then respond back to them. This can be done by hitting ‘reply.’ Be kind in your responses, but be honest. If something doesn’t work, say so as gently as possible and write in “I” sentences.

For example, you could write something like this: “I’m having trouble understanding this line _______________. I think that it seems too literal or too ‘in my face’ and it doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the poem for me because you have all kinds of imagery except for this one line.”

I highlighted “seem” because this is a very gentle word that doesn’t say “it’s not understandable;” it says “it’s not understandable to me.” There’s a difference in those two sentences. Do you see that?

If you receive feedback that is not all positive, that’s ok. In fact, getting feedback that is not all positive is actually the thing that will make you craft and revise. Remember that it’s not you being criticized, it’s your poem.

Everything in workshop is a first draft. It’s not supposed to be perfect. Things are never done; they are only due.

3) Post a poem before replying to someone else.

4) Try to respond to at least two people.

5) Answer the people who respond to you.

6) If you see a poem with no responses, respond. Even if it’s late. Here’s why: if a poem gets no responses, that poet is going to think their stuff is terrible. It won’t enter into the mind of anyone that you’re busy, that life is crazy, or that you like the poem, but you’ve already responded to other people. Be kind. Respond.

Also, don’t post your poem late to avoid responses. That defeats the purpose of taking a workshop class. If you are really, really anxious or worried, send the poem to me first by uploading it early and telling me you want to workshop it, but you’re nervous. I’ll look it over, make suggestions and then you can post.

But, I will only do this if you are exceptionally nervous.

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