On Criticism

Jeff Laibson classicfm.com

Jeff Laibson   classicfm.com

I fear I have
been corrupted
by compassion
since while I am
reading your poem
I cannot keep from
looking for its poet
When tuning in`on
a symphony I can’t
help myself from
listening for the
oboeist whose
little daughter
has leukemia

the haunting wailing
of a haunted tender reed

“She was our most brilliant literary critic,
uncorrupted by compassion.” ~ Gore Vidal on Mary McCarthy

About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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9 Responses to On Criticism

  1. keep being corrupted…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know. You bring up an interesting point. Is the work any good or isn’t it? How much of an artist’s biography comes into play in the music/painting/poem itself? Why do we have to know anything about William Shakespeare to call his writing extraordinary? If “Peter Notehelfer” was not attached to your poetry somewhere, would I still like it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cheryl622014 says:

    Beautiful. It is good to tune in and out perhaps gain perspective. Whether it is necessary to know about the writer…it adds to the layers and enjoyment. I enjoy both the words without any knowledge of the writer and the lit crit. I should get going again and join a class. I think I thought WordPress was that but think I’m a scardy cat;-)


    • It takes a special kind of a gift to be able to ‘criticize’ another’s work, especially if the critic is a friend of the artist and lives in a close relationship to him/her. Few relationships can bear such mentoring and even from a distance such as on Poet’s Corner you will find very very few ‘comments’ compared to the number of ‘likes’, and even those will be innocuous . . . The oboist rarely meets her audience to learn how she has moved them; but the morning papers will contain a ‘review’ as to how the orchestra played and it may mention her . . . Blessings! And you can feel free to critique my poems any time you like! I won’t be offended . . .

      Liked by 1 person

  4. you’ve equaled the oboe’s power to move


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