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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Sunday Editorial

A curious aspect of Poetry24 is how quiet our readers on. We know you're out there - we check our stats! - but you rarely leave comments on the poems. Maybe the poems speak for themselves? But we'd love to know what you think of the poems, a favourite line or your views on the issues they cover. Please tell us why you don't comment in the comments box below!

Meanwhile, it's difficult to generalise about a week that has covered everything from mass murder to Martin Hodges' pleasingly-alliterative Chasing Cheese.

But the main theme was a sense of loss:- Patricia McMahon's harrowing Violation listed Ratko Mladic's appalling legacy in Srebrenica before felling the reader with its devasting closing line: '...we still live with, our hearts shaved raw'; and Rachel North's powerful sonnet His Father's Died voiced Tom Daley's rage against his own loss. If only, as Geoffrey Datson puts it in his thought-provoking 'Pet Rock's Lament': 'none of it is true.'

It was almost a relief to have an attack of killer vegetables (not a line I'd expected to write in a poetry editorial) in Juliet Wilson's Death and the Cucumber. But the week finished with a lingering sadness, in Stephen Smith's evocative An Irish Emigrant Returned, which tells the story of a generation and doesn't seem topical until a long-suppressed anger surfaces in its closing lines.

Finally, thanks to EssentialWriters.com for this but don't be shy to comment here too!



  1. I suggest you conjure up a discussion topic in the form of a question at the end of each poem so that readers have something to answer. Poetry is very difficult to comment on for non-poetry writers. Hell, it's even difficult for poets sometimes, because poems are so personal, and a reader might see something in a poem that is totally contrary to the writer's intentions. It's also quite difficult for some to grasp the deeper symbolisms and/or imagery. I advise you offer prompts :o)

  2. It's the same with Bolts of Silk, lots of readers (I've got the stats to prove it!) but very few comments. i agree with Jessica's comments, though having said that, a poem on Crafty Green poet can get a lot of comments...

  3. Thanks to you both for your comments! I know what you mean about commenting on poems. Personally I like it when people see things in my poems that I haven't seen myself - part of what I like about poetry is what the reader finds between the lines! But I'm still reluctant to comment on other people's.

    I like the idea of a question or prompt... will see what Martin thinks.

  4. Maybe it is shyness - or lack of confidence in opinion. Perhaps the editors should start the discussion with a comment after the poems, for example why you chose it?

  5. Personally, Blogger has disimproved greatly since they had that trouble about a month ago. Its now quite time-consuming to comment (he said, desperately trying to come up with an excuse for his own laziness)

  6. Isabel - It is certainly something we're considering! The original plan was to maintain editorial impartiality by not commenting ourselves, but maybe that needs reviewing.

    Peter - Great word 'disimproved!' (although I didn't even notice it changing!)

  7. I’ve only just discovered Poetry 24 through following Martin on Square Sunshine, and enjoying his witty and erudite comments on Age of Uncertainty. Now I know you are here I will do my best to read and comment....if I ever have anything worthwhile to say that is.