Responding to Criticism

Whilst out walking yesterday, I bumped into an acquaintance.
“I like your poems. I’m not sure about the limericks though”.

His comment concerning my latest collection “Leaving and Other Poems” made me smile. I appreciate good honest feedback and that is what I received.

I could have pointed out that others have said how much they enjoy my humorous verses, (which indeed they have). However, I said words to the following effect:
“I’m really pleased you like my poems”.
We chatted for a while about other matters, then we both went our separate ways.

I have seen other authors/poets become defensive when their writing is critiqued however gentle the criticism is. Whilst I completely understand why writers adopt this position – they have slaved long and hard over their computer to produce their work – not everyone is going to like everything you have written, and as authors/poets we need to accept this fact with grace and keep writing.

Some criticism is fair criticism and needs to be taken on the chin. We can (and should) learn from it. Where criticism becomes unacceptable is when it turns to personal attacks on the author or their family and friends. But provided it focuses on the writing it is fair as, once a book is out there it is no longer the sole property of the author. Of course he/she retains copyright, however readers have every right to interpret a book they have read as they wish.

In the case of my acquaintance, I am delighted he likes my “poems”, and I understand that my brand of humour is not to everyone’s taste. Indeed some readers dislike humorous verse in it’s entirety and they do, of course have every right to do so.

As always, I would be interested in the views of my readers.

(“Leaving and Other Poems” is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback and can be found here,



11 thoughts on “Responding to Criticism

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your kind words, Michael. Your comment about some of my humorous poems needing a more free minded sense of humour made me smile! I hope you are enjoying your Saturday. Best wishes. Kevin

  1. Victoria Zigler

    My feelings are identical to yours. Not everything we write will be to someone’s taste. Indeed, some people will like nothing about what we put out there. However, they’re entitled to like or dislike it. And, as long as any negative comments are directed at the work itself, rather than becoming personal attacks on the author, there’s no harm in them voicing those opinions.

    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks, Tori. I agree with you that some readers will like nothing of what we write, and its their prerogative to hold that view of our work. Best wishes. Kevin


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