A Reviewer's Remise

A Reviewer's Remise

A Poem by WriterSki7

This is prose, not true poetry. It came to me when reflecting on the reviews I give to so many people.


Review. Tis a sweet melody to most here on Writerscafe. We all seek the common recognition and praise for our work, but when is it -dare I say it- justified? I have read a thousand works here, eager to leave my thoughts and praises for some, eager to leave critique on others. However, what gives justice to the words I speak? By whose authority do I tell people what to fix and what to keep? I find myself struggleng with the fact that there are so many good writers here on our esteemed Writerscafe, and yet so many of them need improvement. But who am I to be the one to tell them that? I look at the reviews of others and recognise they give nothing but praise. Am I supposed to tell people what is wrong or right with their work? Should I? I claim to be superior to nobody. I am naught but a set of words on a screen, happily coming together in a set order by the destining of this thing you call a soul. But what gives it purpose? What gives it merit? What about my words is so significant that it must be written down? And then, why should anybody read them? A thousand laments for the man who wakes and discovers this truth!


Regardless, I write because I write. I review because I know, or moreso fathom to know; what it's like not to be reviewed. My will is shallow; my soul is meek. But for some reason, it still holds taunt. I review on no authority, I write for no one's merit. And somewhere along the way, my soul will fade. Insignificant.




© 2010 WriterSki7

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... it's a very thought-provoking write ... my thoughts? ... i'd like to start from scratch ... and start by talking about life ... what's the most important thing? ... human rights ... for me it definitely is ... what is the biggest challenge in a multi-cultural setting? ... offending someone unintentionally ... what is poetry? ... it's a finger print of the soul ... what does it celebrate the most? ... the freedom of expression ... what is the one competence that poets ought to have? ... being able to be respectful all the time and not being disrespectful especially when it comes to choice of words ... between verbal and non-verbal communication, what is significantly more potent? ... non-verbal communication ... we always communicate more through the tone of our writing than through the choice of words ... what is the potential harm of leaving a positive comment? ... the poet is reassured and will take more risks and experiment more ... is that really harmful? ... i don't think so ... what is the challenge? ... we must not validate something that we do not believe in ... and here i'm referring to ethics and they are universal ... and not morality which is subjective ... having said that ... i have a very clear understanding of the word "review" ... it is a second look ... in a review ... i view again ... what i see ... and let the poet know what i saw ... then it is for them to decide whether what i saw is more or less or equivalent to what they meant to show me ... when i chance upon a value or principle being spoken of that i don't agree with ... i make sure that i don't validate it ... for instance ... if someone is talking about committing suicide ... something that i do not agree with ... i may notice grammatical inaccuracies or find the potential for recommending structural enhancements ... but what becomes more important for me even then ... is to not validate the idea ... and i don't ... similarly ... if i come across a write that has some minor grammar issues or potential for structural enhancements ... but has the music of life in it ... then i validate it ... i think communication was never a victim of grammar and structure ... and there are many of us here for whom english is not the first language ... besides ... is it really possible to fix someone's grammar by giving feedback on one or two or three or even ten pieces? ... i don't think so ... is it possible to change someone's thought process and get them to structure poems differently by giving feedback on one or two or three or even ten pieces? ... i don't think so ... i am too small an entity in the universe of verse and i have a long way to go as a human being ... it's enough to get my human rights song right ... and if i manage to accomplish that ... it's enough for me to validate ethical thoughts and actions ... when i'm done with that ... and become an expert ... as also become the expert in saying things in such a manner that the choice of words as well as the tone of my words has no potential to hurt anyone ... who by the way ... might be in another corner of the world ... suffering from severe depression or oppression ... then i'll critique a poem ... i'm a long way from that right now ... anyhow ... this is an amazingly enriching write ... it educates me about another perspective ... and i am indebted for the opportunity to express my thoughts ... god bless ... and thanks again ... (serah) ...

... p.s. ... the knowledge of grammar and structure comes from extensive reading ... there are enough writers here in the cafe who are great at grammar and structure ... and those who are not pretty much know who to read ... still ... if i really feel the need ... then i'll recommend a particular poet to a poet who is not good at grammar and structuring ... rather than talk down to them ... that is a far more non-threatening way to critique ... and when i have done so ... it has always worked ...

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


I skimmed through this and I liked it. I am ALWAYS afraid to give constructive criticism.

Posted 14 Years Ago

I know what you mean. I'm sick of people just saying 'I like it' or 'I don't like it', I want to know WHY you like it or WHY you don't. And you hardly ever seem to get anything constructive, it's like the people who review believe thatv we, as writers, are so insecure and unstable about what we write that we need a few people to put 'It's amazing' just so we don't go and hang ourself. I, myself am a neurotic, somewhat unstable mess, but I can take a hit and encourage people to criticise me constructively. I now make it a habit to badger anyone that just says they do or don't like it, but then again none of have the balls to go and write something like this, telling our reviewers what we want.

Posted 14 Years Ago

I definitely agree with Kanattas Atir Enomo, I read some writers' work on here, and its so well articulated, I don't find it my place to try and tell them where to improve, because I couldn't do any better.

Posted 14 Years Ago

Like I just said to someone a few moments ago it's nice to hear that our work is appreciated, but in order to become better writers we need reviews we can sink our teeth into so to speak. I've been on the recieving end of some very harsh reviews that were meant to be even worse than how they really came across; not because my content needed work or my dialogue was wrong, but because the reviewer didn't agree with the subject.
As far as you only being one voice and being insignificant: I think the only insignificant voice is the voice of those who are only here to be harsh, but cannot stomach an honest critque themselves. Our opinions of a comrade's work are just that, our opinion, but if one can dish it out while pointing out the massive faults in another's work they should be able to take an honest critique about their own. The inability to handle the two way street almost lessens their credibility in a way, make sense? And since you appear to be far from one of those types I would have to say you are far from insignificant.

Posted 14 Years Ago

When I post something it is only rough drafts, so I know there may be grammar, spelling or other errors, so what I look for from a review are story, imagery, characterization, dialogue etc. I don't mind if someone points out typos or a word used wrong or out of context or a sentence that reads like I was drunk while writing it. Hell I may have been lol.
When I give a review I like to point out good and bad. I will not point out grammar or spelling if the author asks that I not point that out. If they know what needs to be corrected in that department they probably have a notes system similar to my own. If not, they may be too embarrassed by their mistakes and don't want to be ripped apart. Whatever the case, it is their choice and as they progress in they craft they will eventually seek guidance. I never push that issue as I feel everyone needs their time to grow. I will not coddle, though, as even with that request I will mention the word "polish" or the phrase "rough around the edges " as a hint. I will move past that and point out flow, imagery etc.
For those not making that request, I will copy and paste examples of what I find. I will never rake over the whole piece, mainly because it is generally the same issue as previously brought to light and I believe an example of that should suffice. I will not be rude, however, in any case. I believe you can do a helpful review in a nice way without sounding snooty or like Johnny a*****e. Because just like everyone else I am learning as I go. No one on here is a perfect writer, I am by no means perfect and I make the same mistakes as most, so why crush someones spirit by being rude about it. Point out mistakes but take time to point out their strong points.

Posted 14 Years Ago

Most of us here are not great writers or poets that we know so i always try to stroke someones ego when i see they are struggling with their write, I hate people that tear someone a new a*****e for misspelled words or bad format :)

Posted 14 Years Ago

you have a very good point here. sometimes i find it hard to dish out critism because i dont feel that im experienced enough to be doing so. it really all depends on the writer. some writers prefer that you lie to their faces and tell them that their work was good, while others prefer honesty to be able to improve. personally, i think im more likely to review the ones that want honesty because it shows that the writer does want to improve and that they are mature enough to handle the truth. good poem tho. :)

Posted 14 Years Ago

I tend to only review pieces i am comfortable with , if its something i can relate to i dont mind leaving a comment . If i have read through a piece 3 or 4 times and it still doesnt strike a chord i wont review, not because i think its particularly badly written i just feel out of my depth and would rather leave it to someone who can relate to that piece. It still amazes me that someone would take time out of their busy schedule to read my ramblings ..... Now that i just cant figure out lol

Posted 14 Years Ago

personally, i prefer "mean' reviews to nice reviews. it's nice to know that people like my work, but it's even better to know that they liked it enough to figure out what was wrong, and tell me what needs to be fixed. this is a very interesting letter though, and it kept me interested all the way through (not an easy task). also, i related with everything you said. good job!

Posted 14 Years Ago

In truth, I only review if I have something nice to say, I wrote a couple of reviews saying how they had to change things up a bit and to fix up a few grammatical errors, which isn't at all harsh or me saying 'this sucks, write something better,' no but after I reviewed it'd beem deleted the next day, getting feedback, bleak or not should be something we face on writerscafe, isn't that why we come on here, to here the reviews of other writers? We have to face the harsh reality in where it is we have to improve in or where it is we stand comfortably. You make a very good point here, so cheers for the read.


Posted 14 Years Ago

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64 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on May 12, 2010
Last Updated on May 12, 2010



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