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Challenge to Hubbers--Learn to Critique Yourself by Tearing Apart My Poem!

Updated on January 27, 2012
Now, be truthful with yourself!  Do you follow the writing process?
Now, be truthful with yourself! Do you follow the writing process?

The Explanation

As a writer, it is important to be able to look back over your work and proofread and correct it. There are a few ways to improve as a writer and those ways are as follows:

  • Read works from better authors or hubbers. They are famous or score high for a reason. When you read them, you learn from them.
  • Follow the writing process. Brainstorm, Research, Rough Draft, Revision (repeat as needed, but I suggest two revisions including reading your writing out loud), and Final.
  • Continue writing, no matter what. If you enjoy writing but are getting discouraged, don't give up. Just keep on writing and you will get better.
  • Put your work in the hands of friends and (even better) strangers. Get ones that will tell you truthfully what they think, but in a polite manner. Constructive Criticism is key.
  • Learn to be your own worse critic. You can feel satisfied about your work. There is nothing wrong with that. But a rough draft is not your best work. Read it over and think of ways to improve it.

I know what some of you (who have read my hubs) might be thinking: "Your writing is always full of typos and weird sentences. Follow your own advice!" To that, I say, "No." I know the process, but because of all the good writers on this site, I tend to put up stories that are really half finished to get a strangers critique. All the people around me walk on eggshells and won't be brutally honest.

So . . .

The Challenge

TEAR UP THIS POEM! Just rip it to shreds. It is my poem, but it pretty much is horrible. I want to put it out there for you to see how a poem that I think is "okay" can be changed with suggestions from critics to make it "very good" and also to have you experience the mindset you need to be in to critique yourself. Just have at it and don't leave one flaw unnoticed in the comments! (I have numbered some lines for possible reference in the comments. The numbers are not apart of the poem)

Love's Bitter Shore by me

1. Consequently,

2. "Ours" is mine, "we" is me

and years may pass, but it will be

I and he will never stay.

5. Was it so hard to see

that his unsteady tempo was complimented by me

in our life's calming vertigo?

8. "Let love guide you

as it embraces and stabs you

and then leaves you raped and alone"

11. Have truer words been spoken

to test my love's devotion

sitting aside the night's evening tide?

14. And if those words are true . . .

15. Then I do detest that what is best, to free my impish soul,

is to, indeed, speak my secret that must earnestly be told.

By God's grace, pray that my wild heart upholds.

18. And I must insist in keeping

that my soul neither sighs nor is weeping

to this so unromantic a tale.

21. But though the dawn is waken,

not a breath of mine was taken

to set myself away from love's cold grasp.

24. Truly, I know that it will never be

that "we" will never be I and he.

I will always stand stagnant on love's bitter shore.


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Awe, glad you liked the suggestions Cammie. I like reading and writing poetry as well. Nice chatting with you today!

    • Cammiebar profile image

      Cammiebar 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you Christy! I totally agree with you about your suggestions. But honest criticism is the best tool you can use to become a better writer. Thanks for posting!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hi Cammie, I like that you open yourself up for criticism. You are not afraid of that and so you will become a stronger writer and develop new habits. All good!

      As for the poem, I think it has potential in describing a relationship. Here are two lines to modify:

      21) "the dawn is waken" - The line sounds awkward. Perhaps change to "the dawn has awoken" or "waken the dawn".

      24) "that "we" will never be I and he." Change to "that "we" will never be he and I." Too awkward to read the original way. Flow is needed here.

      Hope that helps!

    • Cammiebar profile image

      Cammiebar 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      That is true. But there are a few issues with this poem that, if corrected, would make it better. The only way I can get better is by being hard on myself, which is why I'm able to write decent stories. I'm just trying to spread the method, a bit.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • cynical sally 42 profile image

      cynical sally 42 6 years ago

      I really liked your poem. I think you are too hard on yourself. I believe in criticism but poetry is individual and as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, poetry is in the ear of the hearer. You can have as many opinions as there are stars in the sky.