Talking politics, these days, can be mean business.
There’s a lot of fear. A lot of ignorance. A lot of shouting.
Generally, the ones who shout loudest are the least informed.
News flash: Poetry is more brutal.
I’m a member of a poetry website (unnamed, for fear of retribution). Occasionally I post poems there (under a pen name, for fear of retribution).
Members of the site critique and rate each others poems. That’s why I do it. I want feedback and help with revision — and many members are quite helpful and generous.
But talk about mean!
Why is it such a crime to write a bad poem? Or — write a good poem that somebody doesn’t like?
I post my poems and rate others, sometimes critique — but I pretty much keep my distance and refrain from engaging in conversation.
On a regular basis, you can find poets over there with egos the size of Jupiter who are ready to start WWIII. The community is ripe with ongoing conflicts, pent-up hate, and vendettas.
I’ve seen comments that were less than ten words — benign, earnest comments about meter, or punctuation, or even heartfelt, caring thoughts — that were answered with a barrage of four letter words. Unrepeatable insults.
I’ve never engaged enough to become the object of anyone’s hate.
But, I did take a hit yesterday that hurt. One of my poems had a pretty high rating — and I had been basking in the glow for days (they are rated on a scale of one to ten). This poem was at the top of the charts for a couple of weeks, getting almost all tens, with a five, an eight, and a smattering of nines.
Then somebody (who knows who) gave it a one. It quickly got another one and, thanks to averaging, is now off the radar.
Kinda mean, huh?
I was bummed, but dare not say so there. It’s unseemly to talk about ones own poem. It’s scary.