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Miscellaneous Tidbits: Number day, Hitting Delete, and Poetry

I look forward to Friday the 13ths. Well, I don’t know if I look forward to them so much as I like when they happen. I welcome them. I’m superstitious about some things, but not Friday the 13th (knock-on-wood). So happy Friday the 13th to you!

Today is a number day: 7-13-12.

Hmm…what sort of number day is it? 13 and 12 look strong and odd together at first. Seven is one of my favorite numbers for some reason and seeing seven and 13 next to each other makes me smile. In fact, 13 looks like a smiley clown and twelve is a one with a two that decided not to be a question mark. 7, 13 and 12—a circus ring of numbers with seven as the ringmaster, while12 can turn into any animal he wants. He can shape shift. I see an elephant, no wait…a tiger…hold on…I see a seal with a red ruffled collar around his neck and he’s standing on his flippers and he’s dancing around and making his seal noises that sound like a fish barking and his whiskers shake and his body wiggles and he smiles to us, a happy circus seal.


Yesterday I hit delete. I know another who does this and I’m sure there are many others that do it and don’t talk about it. I don’t often find myself pushing the delete button. Many times though, I’ve thought about it and almost did. Something about yesterday made me do it. I had already written my blog and I didn’t realize I was going to write another and later when I reread what I wrote, I just wasn’t satisfied. I went back and forth in my mind about deleting: To Delete or To Not Delete? That was my question. After reading the first paragraph on my short second blog, I decided it was too rushed. Not quite right. I logged on and I did hit delete.

I think I’ve only ever completely deleted one or two blogs. No biggie. I see where I need to rework the deleted piece, to slow down; and one word in particular was bothering me. I decided it wasn’t necessary. I’d like to post the blog eventuall because it’s a memory—a food memory and I’d like to be able to look back.

It felt good to hit delete and it felt good knowing that I could come back to the piece because I didn’t hit delete on my computer.

Enough about delete.


I forgot how difficult poetry is to critique. Poetry can be so personal and sometimes it can mean something to the speaker that the reader will get a sense of but will not be able to enter completely. And a reader brings what they can, different experiences relate back in different ways.

Poetry can take longer to critique because there is so much there bottled into spaces of all sizes—and sizes can be deceiving. One small tiny poem can carry so much weight. With poetry every word counts even more, we move along—taken somewhere, immersed in a place or person, open to feelings. Who’s to say what is right or wrong? But of course it’s not about right or wrong, it’s sharing the experience of the poem as a reader and what I bring; it’s about what details I may be missing and noting that, what words are out of place; what feelings I feel after reaching the end; and how many times do I want to go back and keep reading? There are always questions. Sometimes I want more, even if it’s not meant to be. In some cases it can be more obvious; in other cases, it’s those fine details or lack of that you try to comb through and figure out what’s working and what’s not. And sometimes the poem is fine as it is.

There are so many ways a poem can express itself. Old schools, new schools, contemporary, rhyming, free form, etc. Just writing about this has brought a poem out of me.


Like a tunnel
suspended in space
grounded by gravity,
poetry shoots out—swoosh, bang,
into outer space,
twisting and turning,
reaching to the stars,
the shining moon—

Poetry is a wonderful mystery. I will always be in awe of what it can do, what it can pull out of each one of us.


Happy Day!

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You're right about the fear

You're right about the fear to critique poetry.  At my wonderful Original Writers Group, if anyone ever reads out a poem, everyone else prefaces his/her comments with, "I'm not really qualified to judge poetry." I wonder why we're all so squeamish about it.

By the way, I like your poem :–)

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  Katherine, That’s



That’s interesting. I wonder if the writer’s in your group who preface his/her comments write poetry, if they generally read it, and how they feel about it, etc. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want. Your comment made my mind go in a bunch of directions. I like critiquing poetry. For me, it just takes time; it can be a challenge; and there is much to take into consideration.

I’ve grown to love poetry, probably when I took the poetry writing class some years back. If I look back in my old journals I can see that I wrote pieces that looked like poetry, but I wasn’t necessarily aiming for it. I didn’t always love poetry and I didn’t read it at all. In fact I didn’t like it at one time, but I wasn’t reading poets that resonated with me. I remember in junior high having to memorize a poem. I had no interest whatsoever.

It seems like with poetry, you have to love language in a whole different way. I think my first taste was in an English class at community college. It was My Papa’s Waltz by Theodore Roethke that would be my opening into poetry. I had to live with the poem for a few days, reflect upon it, write about it, and share it with a group.

Years after that English class I signed up for a poetry writing class. I wouldn’t have fully known the beauty of poetry if not for the class I took. I know that some people are natural poets, natural language lovers; and there are probably some writers that didn’t need a poetry class to crack them open. I happened to be one of those people that did need a poetry class. In class, I learned how to critique poems by stumbling along as I went, observing what other people’s comments were and of course what the instructor’s comments were. I can only imagine why others would be squeamish about critiquing poetry, but you have me so curious about the various answers. But it just encourages me to keep answering the question for myself and observing or listening if it comes up in my writer’s group.

I’m glad you liked my poem. : )

Thanks very much for reading and commenting.

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Critiquing Poetry (2)

... I don't know if my fellow writers at the group read poetry... Must enquire.

Personally, I don't care for poetry as a genre.  In general, I find it too personal to the author, and its message often too vague.  Having said that, I love – above everyone else in the 20th Century – Dorothy Parker.  I also love John Donne, Petrarch, Pushkin, Lermontov, Ronsard, Christopher Smart, Keats, Chateaubriand, Veronica Franco... Funny, I've just noticed I have no modern poets on my list.  Hmm... Must educate myself.

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Rebbecca, I worry about


I worry about writing poetry! And there are poems and blogs that I am tempted to delete if they don't seem quite right, but I often start a new post and leave the former attempt as a draft. Sometimes going back over it later, I find a sentence or two that I want to keep.

Great post,


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Annette, I still worry about

Annette, I still worry about writing poetry too; when I do, I concentrate on my feelings about whatever the subject, and I try to enter and find a way in. That’s a good idea to save your posts as drafts, going back later to find something to keep.

Thanks for visiting.