poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Poetry Critical 2.0

Hey guys, Donald here.

In a few weeks, this site will be 9 years old. 9 years! And I still know some of the earliest submissions by heart.

But, boy. That’s like 102 in web-years. So it’s time for something new. I’m building that something now with my nights-and-weekend minutes (and plenty of coffee). Buy me a cup?

Development updates from Twitter:

Follow @poetrycritical for more!

Random Poem:

Just Another Excuse To Get Out Of Class

I walked back to class
from the principal’s office
and I felt too big to fit
in the tiny-mouse-like-passageway halls
of the middle school I hated
with actual bitterness, which
grew immense with each passing day
and even then I knew somehow
that seventh graders shouldn’t hate,
at least not as much as I did.
                In fact, that’s the year I truly started
                to hate – everything – myself included;
and as I walked back to class
with my thick inarticulate,
uncouth hands dragging behind me (hands I clearly knew were incapable
of holding a pen gifted enough to write poetry,
or gracefully painting the essence of a beautiful soul,
or affectionately strumming a guitar,
or caressing a woman’s soft-petal-face
with the delicacy of a lover; nor
was my animal-heathen-man face capable of a
smile able to inspire beauty in her soul).
I felt as though things had gone too fast
like I’d missed a lesson along the way.
I didn’t understand.  How did I grow from
innocently insecure to man-beast-predator
in less than a year?  And why did she, my principal,
look at me that way and talk to me in that way,
and why were six girls, fighting not to giggle with one another,
aloud to sit on one side of a round table
with the principal on their side and me on the other
                        – alone –
as they read lengthy proclamations of feeling
“belittled and uncomfortable”
                – well, actually, those were the principal’s
                empathetic words on their behalf –
and what was the lesson I was supposed to learn;
and why did she scold me like a puppy,
hitting me with her hurt-on-behalf-
of-the-powerless-little-girls tone
like it was a rolled-up newspaper;
and why did I get in trouble
for saying, “Hello,” in a meek, polite,
now-unconfident tone just because
after that many months a girl
was still able to drag me down
to the principal’s office because
according to her my, “hello,” sounded creepy?
                I didn’t even know how that was possible.  “I mean,
                how do you even say “hello” in a creepy tone,”
                I was left wondering.  
Nor, did I know what sexual harassment was
or how to speak, or look in a girl’s direction,
or be in close proximity without doing something wrong
like existing?  How could I have been so wrong,
unless I was tainted at my core?  …which I believed
for longer than is healthy.
By the end of that year,
all the fun a seventh grader can have
by getting in trouble, like me, shriveled up inside;
going down to the principal’s office, for me unlike those girls,
was no longer an excuse to get out of class.

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