Poison Quills ... A Poem

The "Eye" of the Quill Feather
The "Eye" of the Quill Feather



This poem is not intended to criticize all professional poetry critics. Some of the pros are quite good, while others are terrible. I wrote this 'tongue-in-cheek' poem when I came across one who is the latter of the two when he unfairly criticized a newly-published poet.





The critics beckoned, soul for soul,

Through centuries unbound

The poet’s gift to judge their words

And measure pound for pound;


The poison quills that marked the past

Gave way to station keys

That fashion words with fatal clicks

In hallowed expertise;


As candle glows would dim the sight

Of wizened eyes in view,

The lumens flooding modern light

Will catch them still askew;


To censure those who write amiss,

The critic’s noble claim…

Has blushed to see the shifting tides

Sweep fresh a poet’s name;


No judge of verse will tether me

To words not savored true,

If solstice calls then heed I shall

To cleanse the taste anew.





@ 2011 Genna East All rights reserved.


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Comments 98 comments

Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

You write really well!!

How about 'Poison Quills'?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thanks, Trish. I have just changed the title thanks to you. :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Those who cannot write, act, play, or sing become critics of those who can.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Loved it! And WillStarr's comments and Trish's title! All a person can say is whether he/she likes it or not. To each his own!!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

LOL @ Will - agreed - the perfect answer and I sure won't try to out do it!

Beautifully written Genna, as is your usual standard!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, I think Will got it exactly right! I know someone who is a critic of everything, he is such an idiot! he hasn't got a talent for anything but he thinks he's the best! lol (he's my friends husband!) great poem, loved it!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Will Hi there. I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the comments...spot on!

@Sally Thanks Sally, and as always, "to each his own." :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Pooh Hey Pooh. :) Thank you for those kind words!

@Nell I loved your comment and got quite a good laugh from it. Yes, I bumped into someone very similar recently; hence the poem. Thanks for your comments.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Great poem..I agree with Nell and Will up above. Thanks for a wonderful read.

Sunnie


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I found this a very interesting piece. Voted UP


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Loved the poem and hats off to Trish for the intriguing and fitting title.


diogenese 5 years ago

All criticism ain't worth a cup of warm piss!

How about, "The Biters, Bit," from Shakespeare...Bob


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I only occasionally read critics and that is only to get an idea whether I might want to read a particular boo or see a particular show.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I love it! This is so true and point on. I am like dahoglund, I seldom read the critics. On my own writings, I welcome comments and true constructive criticism from my fellow writers. But those who rip apart to find one too many words or that sort of thing...nah!

Great job here!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Genna, your talent just amazes me.

Voted UP


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Love the poem very much and I think to the title is befitting to this awesome poem !

Vote up !!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I take comments and critiquing very seriously. Since poetry is an artform and I chose to share it, I really strive to give it my best. I may flinch at first, but always give serious consideration to anyone that has good or bad to say. As I read your most excellent poetry, I thought, are the critics "Looking for Shakespeare"?


Ghaelach 5 years ago

Don't you think it's nice we all have a different taste.

Lovely hub. lol

Ghaelach


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

To me personally, I Love New Ideas and of taking Prose and Poetry to another Level...As long as it makes one, laugh, or cry, or sigh, or think, hell, that was a fun read. I think the Poet as done their job. I look forward to having my work out there, I too give it my best, and hope that someone, somewhere is enjoying it!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Sunnie Day Thanks, Sunnie, and you are most welcome.

@mckbirdbooks Your thoughts are appreciated, thank you.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@MinnetonkaTwin Thank you, and I think Trish’s suggestion was great. :)

@Diogenese Lol. Enjoyed your comment. That quote from Shakespeare was also excellent.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Dahoglund I try not to read poetry critics, but this isn’t always possible. Thanks for stopping by.

@Hyphenbird Thank you. I had fun writing this ‘tongue-in-cheek’ poem to certain professional poetry critics.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Fay Thank you, you make me blush. I just enjoy writing, and hope others can get a little enjoyment from it as well. I appreciate your words of support.

@Kashmir Hi there. Thank you, and I’m sure Trish appreciates the compliment as well regarding the title.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Amy Thank you! Sometimes I think the professional poetry critics are “Looking for Shakespeare.” You are very observant. I can’t thank you enough for your comments!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Ghaelach Actually the poem is more geared to professional poetry critics who would criticize the poetry to its death, or in cases of Emily Dickinson actually re-write much of her work posthumously as two people did before it was originally published. I agree in that style is up to an individual’s taste, but critics often criticize the quality of the style, itself. Thanks for stopping by; you are always welcome to visit.

@b.malin I’m with you, B! I love new ideas and taking poetry to new levels. Walt Whitman was one of the poets who broke through the traditional ceiling, so to speak, and his poetry was criticized originally by certain critics.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

That, Genna, was also my toss in the ring "title" for your poem!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Ohhh...now THAT is cool! Thank you...that is perfect! :)


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

I love this poem and I think poetry as also art is in the eyes of the beholder. Some may love one thing while another might not. Great hub and I like the title as well.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi!

I cannot take any credit for 'poison quills', as it's a quote from Genna's second verse ~ but it certainly seemed very apt :)


Maya 5 years ago

Hello Genna! I am amazed at how easily you write in such a variety of styles. Very talented. I also like how this poem is a satire on as Amy said "Looking For Shakespeare." That's pretty neat.


Ghaelach 5 years ago

Morning Genna.

Some people like red wine, some like white wine. The way i see things is that if you don't like white wine you don't buy it. The same if you don't like what's on a TV channel you can either change channels or you can turn the TV off. You ladies don't buy a dress because it's the in thing, you buy to your taste. I buy a book because i want a good read and that i can read over and over. I can say i like it or i don't. But i don't criticize the book to the death.

Are these critic's really so good as they pretend, or have they nothing better to do? If they where a member of a football team and criticized the trainer they would get the red card.

Criticism is OK up to a point, but to go so far as you say is unsporting and distasteful and for me they don't belong in the writing arena. lol

Ghaelach


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Thanks for this advice.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

I think the title "Poison Quills" is quite appropriate to the piece. Surely all of us who write will eventually leave behind our mistakes. Hopefully those who read can look beyond them. WB


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Bobbi Thank you, and I agree with you. :)

@Trish Thank you for your suggestion of the title; I thought it was very suitable.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Wayne Hi Wayne; thanks so much for the visit. :) I do sooooo agree with you, but when it comes to the professional critics this poem refers to, that is not always the case.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..well believe me Genna when I tell you there is a precious pretentious poet's society here at the Hub - and they certainly don't know what to do with the epi-man because he is anti-poet and is always trying something a little different by deconstructing or subverting this genre.

That said - it is always gratifying to receive comments from someone of your writer's pedigree - I guess it's that old saying - 'it takes one to know one' - and I am certainly most glad (and humbled) to know someone as special as you - as a hub colleague and - friend!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Well, Epi, I wouldn’t call you anti-poet because you have a marvelous sense of poetry and write with a wonderful gift and instincts. You are one of my favorite writers here. :) And I also always cheer anyone on who pushes that envelope as well.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Maya Hello, again, my friend; always a pleasure to see you! I thank you for your comments, but I still struggle with writing...especially, free verse. Hugs.

@Crystolite Hi there. I'm not sure what advice I gave in the poem, but I thank you.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

Genna, no critic would dare touch your work, I always find yours to be of the highest caliber, this included. Poison Quills is a perfect name, as suggested right off the bat and as you may tell by all the other poets, writers and just plain those of us who love to throw words out on paper and don't care which category they fall into - we love what you do. And not to mention, I agree with Epi, it is always a pleasure and a privilege to receive comments and know you've read our work. Voted up and awesome.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Loved your poem. You are a confident writer and it made for a very enjoyable read. Rated up and awesome.


Doug Turner Jr. 5 years ago

Nice. Fantastic rhyme scheme here. So effortless (so it felt, as the writer you may feel otherwise) and yet very pertinent to the subject. You aren't rhyming just to do it. I like this. Thanks Genna.


What Is Q profile image

What Is Q 5 years ago from Tennessee

If I were to critique this poem, I'd say it rocks. So excellent job.

Whenever I want to see a new movie, I find out what the critics think, and if they don't particularly like it, then I know it's going to be good. That shows you how much I distrust critics. I'm my own worst critic when it comes to my writing. Like I told someone once, "You think it doesn't make any sense? Well, I think it's bloody stupid." I don't try to change my writing to make it better. I just try to perfect my method of writing. Does that make any sense? Maybe not. Maybe it's bloody stupid. But whatever. I completely agree with WillStarr, like so many other people have already said. Keep up the good work, Genna.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

"No judge of verse will tether me, To words not savored true," - Very well done! Great hub. I like Will's comment as well as others: "Those who cannot write, act, play, or sing become critics of those who can."


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Erin Thank you so much, Erin. Your comments warm the heart of this humble writer. I enjoy your writing as well, and I appreciate your supportive comments. :)

@ToKnowInfo Thanks for the vote of confidence, and I am pleased that you enjoyed the poem.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Doug Thanks for the read, and for the comments. I got such a kick out of writing this one…I was so miffed at this particular critic; sometimes this kind of rhyme just flows very quickly and easily for me, as did this one, although I don’t use this old-world style of words often in rhyme.

@What isQ A pleasure to see you, Q; I appreciate your comments, and agree wholeheartedly about critics. The only film critic I will give a second thought to is Ebert; I could care less what all the rest say. We are all our own worst critics; at least I am, so I know exactly what you mean. And I enjoy reading your hubs. :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@MickyDee Hi Micky. Thanks for the read, and I appreciate your comments. And I also agree with you and Will. I would never in a million years want to be a critic. Whenever a play/show opens on/off Broadway, everyone holds their breath until the critics’ reviews come out. I’d like to see one of them try to write one; now that would fun to watch. :)


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Beautiful poem which made me reflect, refection is good. :) Katie


bingskee profile image

bingskee 5 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

lovely. that title fits best.

which made me think of writing poems again. but then, i have not enough time. :-(


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

As someone who had a fall out with his English teacher about the vicious/callous way the teacher taught poetry so much so it took every ounce of joy out of it - I fully empathise with this. To me poetry is an expression of the inner soul, needs to be read as is, savoured and understood. While I have no qualms about analysis and feedback- this shouldn't be savage and but constructive and contributory to the development and not vicious.

You have captured this so beautifully, Genna.Love it!

'No judge of verse will tether me

To words not savored true,

If solstice calls then heed I shall

To cleanse the taste anew.'


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Great poem and I love the title. Have you ever noticed that those who write do, those who can't become critics?


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Genna,

Your other fans have beautifully said what I feel. Well done!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Katiem2 Thanks Katie; it was fun to write.

@Bingskee Thank you. I hope you can find the time to write poetry, and I look forward to reading it.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Docmo We must have had the same English teacher. :) Thanks for read, Doc, and the kind comments; always nice to see you here.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@KoffeeKlatchGals Thanks for your comments, and you bring up an interesting point: if they don’t know how to write, then why would anyone assume they know how to critique?

@CatonaSoapbox Hey Cat. Well, I think everyone’s being kind, and I very much appreciate their supportive comments as well as yours; does the heart good.


michael ely profile image

michael ely 5 years ago from Scotland

Hi Genna East. Great poem. Really good stuff.

Michael.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

I agree with Docmo. I don't mind a critique from somebody I respect. I'm always looking to improve. I got shredded by a smart ass critic once. "You were to lazy to write a real story so you tried a poem." But I'm stubborn so I refined my piece and it won an honor and went to print. I think its all about the language and the intent of the critic. Is it to be hurtful or helpful?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@michael hi there; thanks for the input and the visit.

@Randy I aree with Doc as well. I think it's a mixed bag with the professional critics; some are good; others are terrible. Good to see you, Randy. I'm pleased that you were able to have that poem published. :)


bellawritter23 profile image

bellawritter23 5 years ago from California

Genna, This was truth and carried strenght as well. I enjoyed reading it, very insightful as well. Thank you my dear friend Genna!

smiles :)

bella


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

I enjoyed your poem and love the picture and Poison Quills image. I suppose they earn their living from being nasty.


DanWW 5 years ago

Great rhyme scheme Genna. You make it look easy. This carries a ring of old world poetry mixed with new.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Bella Thank YOU and I am pleased you enjoyed this. :)

@Les Trois I appreciate the visit and the comments…I assume they do, but some are much better than others.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@DanWW Hello friend and neighbor…always a pleasure to see you drop by for a visit here as well. I am happy you picked up on the mix of words style.


Little Kim profile image

Little Kim 5 years ago from Any town U.S.A.

It is better to risk the embarassment , than to wonder what might have been. This is my motto. I try not to take any critics words to heart. I am my toughest critic anyway.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Brilliant piece, I especially loved this verse

"As candle glows would dim the sight

Of wizened eyes in view,

The lumens flooding modern light

Will catch them still askew"

Genna I never write for the critics, they can all eat cake, however my soul screams out with a poison quill from time to time. The midnight wax that drips imparts much sorrow from within, so I must write.

I write for love, I write for fellow poets view, I write because I can. I convey what my muse puts in my head, thank you for penning this wonderful scribe, you are a true artist.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, K. :) As always, your kind words of support warm the heart of this humble writer. Your selection of verse is one of my favorites as well.

I have a difficult time criticizing any writer; it is almost impossible for me to do so. I may think of the poison quill on rare occasions, but cannot bring it to paper so to speak, and give the thoughts a voice. If it is constructive, than this is something else.

And I do agree with you in that critics “can eat cake.” Nicely said. :)


CalVera 5 years ago

Perfect rhyme scheme with this one, Genna. I hope to see much more poetry from you in the future. You are very talented.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 5 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I am curious about the new poet that was criticized. Is there anyway that you can link to them or just put the title of his work. I usually like almost all poetry because it can be interpretted in so many ways. Great job!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Cal Well hi there! It is so good to see you my old friend. Thank you for your support and wonderful comments. :)

@Barber I thought about doing that but I didn’t want to use this forum to embarrass this poet in any way. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.


arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

Genna! The more I read the more I wonder of the gifts that hide in the little world of hub pages. Your work needs to move beyond our little world, but then, I would suffer in your absence. Until then, we will claim you as our own. All up and if I were granted return ups I would simply sit on them. Be well.


arb profile image

arb 5 years ago from oregon

Hi, this is kinda fun!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Arb Just peeking in briefly; you are indeed kind and I am so appreciative of your support. Hugs to you and yours. :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Genna, I can't believe i haven't read this. I love it!! The most hurtful criticism was from a Hubber who said, " The poetry is good eventhough the words did not rhyme well " Hee..Thank you.

Cheers


KittyMack 5 years ago

This "tongue-in-cheek" poem is so very clever Genna -- like Shakespeare. From the lumens of candles to modern light that will "catch them still askew." Will could not have said it better. Great poem.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@Always exploring

I am so pleased to liked this poem. Yes, critics can, at times, sound absurd and unthinking. Good to see you!

@Kitty

Hello Kitty. Thank you, but Will would have pummeled the critics, as he did in 1-2 of his plays in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I so appreciate your wonderful, ongoing support, Kitty.


ChSRiso 5 years ago

I can't belive I have only recently discovered you Genna East. Terrific poem and a terrific writer!


you suggest one profile image

you suggest one 5 years ago from NOTTINGHAM ENGLAND

Another wonderful poem Genna,the title is perfect,and though it as been said before I must reiterate,critics criticise because of envy,and I find they are best ignored.

I have just discovered you as I have been away from hub pages for a time,but I will certainly be visiting your page again.


Anne Oddity profile image

Anne Oddity 5 years ago

Evocative and powerful poem!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

@you

Thank you. I look forward to your visits in the future, and to reading your hubs as well.

@Anne

I am grateful for your comments; thanks for the visit.


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 5 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

I'm late at getting here, but this is very interesting!! Voted up!!!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hello Maggie! My apologies for not responding sooner. Thanks for the visit and the thoughtful words. :-)


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

A great poem with a great title, it just put the them where they belong.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you! I had fun with this one. :-)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Beautifully crafted piece. And spot on! You are so kind is your verse--whether they deserve your kindness is another question


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Audrey. I'm so sorry I'm late in responding. This is one of my favorite poems. Critics can be so annoying and unfair. Good to see you. :-)


coffeegginmyrice profile image

coffeegginmyrice 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

"Poison Quills" is a much clever title. Your words are pure, brave and strong.

A critique is fine, lest it becomes damaging to one's work and the writer. One critic should consider that "ink" can leave ugly stains.

I'm glad I found you, Genna.

Useful and awesome.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Coffee

Thanks for those nice comments! :-)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Very beautiful Gen and i love your instrumental video its relaxing :)

Have a bless day


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you...this was fun to write. And you too! :-)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

I just had to read this again, it was so on time so to speak! lol! I was watching critics moaning about certain films on tv and I thought, how do critics get their jobs? you can't go to college to learn to be a critic! surely we are all critics or none at all? either way, love your poem!


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 16 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

That was just the right poem for me to read. Thank you!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

Loved the poem, and I had to chuckle. I had a lot of encouragement in college from professors to become a literary critic. (Who does that seriously?)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 16 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you! I would not want to be a literary critic. I would have to put up with people like me. :-) Good to see you.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 15 months ago from California

Such a great write Genna--Loved this!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

On the outside looking in, it is easy to hurl critiques at another's writings....I often wish that I could get a peek at theirs (if any :D)----

and as you say, not all fall into this category....

As for me, I am in awe of those, like you, who turn to poetry to express thoughts and desires and fears and joys...it is not a talent I possess...It amazes me how words are chosen and carefully woven to create the visual you wish to share.

Angels are once again headed your way this morning ps


Genna East profile image

Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Audrey ... Thank you. coming from a poet I deeply admire, such words truly make my day. :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

PS...

What a lovely comment -- thank you! Sending angels to you as well, my friend.


Sam Tumblin profile image

Sam Tumblin 14 months ago from Eunice, La.

Enjoyed reading your poem. Thanks for sharing!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 14 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Sam.

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