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Poetry Soup: One Year In - Gary Radice's Blog

About Gary Radice
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I'm a married '50 something' who lives near Liverpool, UK. 

started writing poetry as a hobby after taking early retirement from my role as a Registered Mental Health Nurse / Brain Injury Rehabilitation Liaision Nurse.

When writing poetry, I tend to write what I see, no matter how trivial. Themes of the seaside, railways and the naivety of childhood crop up often.

Other than at school, the only poems I have ever written are those you can read here at Poetry Soup.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Gary    


Poetry Soup: One Year In

Blog Posted:9/10/2020 3:35:00 AM

Where did that year go? :)

The very idea of posting poems on a platform that is, in the main, read and commented on by seasoned poets to this 'wet behind the ears' poet was, to say the least, very off putting and unnerving. I hadn't even had the courage to share my work with my family and friends let alone complete strangers who might pick fault with anything and everything I write.

I took the plunge and am so glad I did.

***

I admit to spending some time trying to suss out Poetry Soup at first and over the year have come to the conclusion that 'it is what it is' and 'does what it says it does on the tin' - all brilliantly. It's a platform for sharing poetry and for encouragement and it certainly ticks both those boxes very well. I have personally had some lovely comments that I have really appreciated.

- And yet in a sort of masochistic, strange sort of way, someone who could pick apart and / or offer guidance and / or point out bits that could be improved in my work in an unthreatening way (whatever I mean by that) is what I hoped would happen too. I don't mean change entire ideas / poems  but point out to me where best my rhythm and meter can be improved upon. In one of my earlier poems Wendy (Watson) pointed out one line that interrupted the flow of the poem and she was spot on. It really helped me and the poem itself.

I'm aware there is a section on PS for criticism but it doesn't appear to get many replies.

Someone mentioned the idea recently of having a marker next to the poem should you be happy for people to make constructive criticism and I would be all for that. I would also be happy if the general public could comment on poems but I guess that idea conjures up all sorts of logistical complicatons and would not be to everyone's taste.

***

If someone would have said to me a year ago that I would be an avid reader and writer of poetry at this point, I don't think I would have believed them. One of PS's major strengths, for me, may also count as a weakness though - That is, there are too many poems to read. :) It's inevitable, therefore, that  there are so many brilliant poems and poets out there in SoupLand  that I'll never get to read.  I do tend to use the random poet feature and have come across poets that dont tend to enter competitions but produce fantastic work.

***

I have to say I'm surprised that one year in, I don't know the owner / CEO / etc names behind Poetry Soup. Their true photos and bios should be up for all to read and presented proudly on a separate page  ..or perhaps they are and I haven't trekked that far yet? :)

***

The competitions have opened my eyes as to how many different forms of poetry there are. I have tried several and am in awe at the apparent ease others are able to construct such excellent work.  I do find those competitions where I'm left to my own devices suit me better though. For me, rules tend to upset the flow of my writing. I'm stuck as to whether I should be writing to please the judge sometimes rather than being true to myself. That's not a criticism of anyone or anything other than my mindset.

***

Confession time: I'm forever changing words and titles of my work and basically messing around with things - sometimes weeks after I've published poems on here - and was just wondering if it's just me that suffers with this affliction?

***

Finally, Is there anyone out there who knows when the results of the Vogon Poetry Competition will be announced? I'm sure the competition closed in June some time. I thought I'd better boldly ask as noone has asked before.

***

One year in love the site. :)

Thanks everyone for making me feel welcome.

Cheers - Gary

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Date: 9/15/2020 6:06:00 PM
Gary, thank you for somehow gathering many of my thoughts on the Soup and penning them. Particularly the one about there being sooo many poems - I often start reading one person's work, only to detour to that of someone who commented. I'm not complaining, mind! Changing poems - I've deleted a couple I wasn't happy with, after people had commented on them. I'm wondering if there's some sort of etiquette around this - should I be e-mailing the people who took the time to comment to let them know why I'm deleting?
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/16/2020 1:49:00 AM
Hi Sharon! You have echoed my thoughts exactly regarding PS etiquette...(ie is there one for the issues raised?) I tend to write at the top of the poem if I've changed it in any way. As for deleted poems - I think just go ahead and delete. The 2 or 3 I have deleted have been brought back as amended poems or parts of other poems. All part of the learning process I guess.
Date: 9/11/2020 6:21:00 AM
I don’t tend to read blogs because sometimes they can be contentious. This however is a thoughtful and introspective piece. A belated welcome to the soup. I will now go give your writing a peek. Blessings Rick.
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/11/2020 9:23:00 AM
Hi Richard. Thank you for your welcome and lovely comments. Cheers - Gary
Date: 9/10/2020 4:47:00 PM
Hi Gary...I'm a bit over 2 years and like you, had never shared my poetry much before coming on the soup. It is a wonderful place to try out new forms, stretch yourself with the contest prompts and read such amazing poetry. You hit it when you said there are more then can be read! I too would appreciate critiques, but feel it should be by someone who is educated in poetry for help to be given, yet, with that said, when something doesn't quite flow or the cadence is off or your missed the form a bit, it is so helpful when someone points it out in a soup mail post...and I have had that done which I was very happy to receive. I really have enjoyed the poems you have shared...great blog here
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/11/2020 1:37:00 AM
Hi Jeanne - Thank you for your comments and compliments. It's really appreciated. I probably need to stretch myself trying new forms more than I have done in all honesty. Cheers - Gary
Date: 9/10/2020 12:05:00 PM
Gary congratulations on your anniversary, I have been on PS for a little over two years. I have also joined other sites but continue to come back to PS. There are some great people on PS that have been very supportive and have become friends as well. I think some comments can be overdone with the criticism. I have always said that it is very subjective, so always remember that. There are still the dreaded blogs where the trolls seem to land and stir up trouble but most don't stay around very much and really don't seem to contribute to the site in a positive manner, most do not even post many poems. I really enjoyed your blog and glad you are still here on PS!
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Wayne Kingston
Date: 9/10/2020 4:10:00 PM
The dreaded trolls and bullies usually don't frequent the Blog. They do their work "better" in the Poetry comment shadowland. The blogoshpere has been quite useful addressing interesting ideas (such as contructive critiscm) and Gary is a perfect reflection of that tradition. Much good comes from exchange of ideas; it's the "directive idea" that can be misunderstood. PS: it's poetry.
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 12:27:00 PM
Hello Tania! Thanks for your comments. Many people seem to praise PS over other sites so that's very encouraging. I've been on many boards / groups / FB pages in my time (I'm a keen rollercoaster and amusement park fan) and have found that there's always someone somewhere who wants to stir up things. I start from the (naive) baseline that everyone has something to offer. Whether I'm saying that next year well we'll see :) There are some great poets on this site that's for sure.
Date: 9/10/2020 10:47:00 AM
Gary, congratulations on your anniversary here , it has been 12 years for me (although, I did leave in 2012, taking all my poems with me) This site is my safe haven, I have made some incredible friends, and sadly lost to death many friends. I tried other sites but this one feels like home. I think even the great poets of old changed their poems until it was perfect for them. Be careful opening the door to criticism there are some who love to tear apart our work just because. I think you can post your poem on The Wall under Soup Social and ask others to make constructive criticism or maybe that is Poetry Forum, not sure which one but it can be done _Constance
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 11:10:00 AM
Constance, thank you. Like everyone who has responded here with their comments they are truly appreciated. It's good to hear I'm not the only one who keeps changing their poems. I guess it just shows how much they mean to us as poets. I can only speak for myself in regards to the constructive criticism: I either take it on board and thank people or completely ignore it and put it down to Life's Rich Tapestry. I appreciate your concerns though. Thanks for the heads up re The Wall.
Date: 9/10/2020 9:55:00 AM
Welcome indeed! Excellent blog and summation of ideas to enhance PS. Glad you had such a wonderful year and best wishes for the future. : )
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 10:02:00 AM
Thanks Wayne. Here's to the next year. :)
Date: 9/10/2020 6:28:00 AM
Congrats on your year at PS Gary:-) I too have learned so so much since i joined as a total novice in 2014, i love the challenge of the contests and have received advice from some super poets here. I mentioned on a recent blog about using the section on the forum for heavy critique and also for a poet to note underneath their poem if they wanted critique and not just a friendly comment. I have seen poems torn apart by unwanted critique and sadly the poets have left the site.
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Robert Lindley
Date: 9/10/2020 8:24:00 AM
Jan my friend, your comment about past transgressions and rude behavior are true. Sorry you were subjected to such. And yes, I too know of several very good poets that left because of that past rudeness. I hope that it has been stopped by these recent past exposures. God bless....
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 7:45:00 AM
Thanks Jan. It was your comment on a recent blog that echoed exactly what I was going to write there i.e: constructive critique to be requested underneath the poem (via a marker of some sort perhaps?) I can understand if it's not to everyone's taste though. Thanks again.
Date: 9/10/2020 5:51:00 AM
Thank you for this informative blog my friend. Your idea- "I'm not looking to dig deeper into the specific issues but I think if people are happy to accept criticism in the first instance via Soupmail or otherwise (as suggested) then perhaps it could be explored by way of a 'marker' you can set on your work." I think it is a wonderful idea- as long as the criticism/advice must be transmitted in private--in soupmail only. Otherwise certain types will abuse it in order to do what those types do, imho. God bless..
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 7:55:00 AM
Jan, that couldn't have been nice at all. I've not had any too disparaging remarks; one of my earlier poems had a comment from a guy about how he hated my poem because it had made him think. It actually made me laugh and wondered what the heck he was doing reading or writing poetry :)
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 7:48:00 AM
Hello Robert. I appreciate your comments. Thank you.
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JAN ALLISON
Date: 9/10/2020 6:32:00 AM
I think having a marker or writing that you want critique is the best way forward and agree that using a soup mail is a good idea . I for one just appreciate a comment, I don't want my work or my self confidence to be torn apart as happened a few months after i joined!! :-)
Date: 9/10/2020 4:09:00 AM
Gary,based on my 13+ years here,it would be a very brave man (woman) who made honest critiques of others poetry on PS .The nearest I get thereto is implied by my contest results listings,which are of course very subjective.
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 4:16:00 AM
I hear what you're saying Brian and have read on blogs that have appeared and disappeared on here about certain issues in regards to this. I'm not looking to dig deeper into the specific issues but I think if people are happy to accept criticism in the first instance via Soupmail or otherwise (as suggested) then perhaps it could be explored by way of a 'marker' you can set on your work. Walking on eggshells I suppose but I'm just speaking personally.
Date: 9/10/2020 3:52:00 AM
Gary,you can read(buy) about the modest owner of our site in his book here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Money-Happy-Way-Living-straightforward/dp/B085KG72XY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=mark+pringle&qid=1599734917&s=books&sr=1-1 He is also the sponsor of the contest you mention.
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Gary Radice
Date: 9/10/2020 4:09:00 AM
Thanks Brian! Modest indeed. Mark, I'm sure you are very proud of your site. If PS was my site I'd make sure everyone knew who I was. Just me :)

My Past Blog Posts

 
Poetry Soup: One Year In
Date Posted: 9/10/2020 3:35:00 AM
The Importance of the Title
Date Posted: 8/12/2020 12:47:00 PM
Poetry and English GCSE Exams
Date Posted: 8/4/2020 12:54:00 PM
Does anyone agree with these tips?
Date Posted: 5/3/2020 9:26:00 AM
Poetry Power
Date Posted: 4/6/2020 4:06:00 AM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
9/24/2020 Diamonds Rhymedecember,winter,
9/16/2020 Class of '66 Rhymechildhood,memory,
9/12/2020 The Golden Mile Rhymefamily,light,night,
9/9/2020 On The 6: Again Rhymejourney,london,people,tra
8/26/2020 Hedgehogs Rhyme3rd grade,4th grade,5th g
8/23/2020 Brilliant Minds Rhymefeelings,imagery,life,sta
8/7/2020 The Signal Box Rhymeart,beauty,imagery,life,l
7/31/2020 The Obituary Poem Rhymedeath,humorous,obituary,
7/27/2020 Postcard Home Rhymeholiday,life,silence,summ
7/19/2020 Wonderland IV: The Innkeeper's Tale Rhyme10th grade,drink,food,lit
7/11/2020 Toy Trains Rhyme6th grade,christmas,feeli
7/6/2020 Wonderland III: The Hairdresser's Tale Rhymeabuse,dark,dream,fantasy,
6/29/2020 Light Versebeach,light,
6/28/2020 Wonderland II: The Watchmaker's Tale Rhymebetrayal,business,fantasy
6/21/2020 Jukebox Rhymeappreciation,music,
6/20/2020 Ola Voganista Vogonnonsense,
6/18/2020 Niceville Rhymechange,life,loss,people,p
6/8/2020 Strength Free versefaith,funeral,hope,loss,s
6/6/2020 The Fun Of The Fair Rhymefun,life,
6/1/2020 Mind The Gap Rhymelondon,
5/30/2020 The View From Pisa Rhymeholiday,humorous,travel,
5/26/2020 Old Delhi Rhymeholiday,poverty,social,tr
5/16/2020 The Story Of A Shop Rhyme5th grade,6th grade,7th g
5/8/2020 Woodland Walk Rhymenature,summer,sun,sunshin
5/2/2020 The Stanza By The Sea Rhymegreen,planet,sea,water,
4/27/2020 Blank Canvas Rhymebeach,metaphor,poetry,
4/24/2020 The Barbican Rhymeart,london,places,
4/21/2020 The Sun In The Square Rhymeholiday,summer,sun,travel
4/14/2020 A Door In The Wall Rhyme6th grade,appreciation,en
4/3/2020 Towards Euston Rhymejourney,travel,
3/28/2020 From A Window Rhymechange,childhood,family,l
3/19/2020 Sheep Rhymeallegory,metaphor,
3/17/2020 The Albany Rhymechildhood,film,memory,
3/4/2020 The Greasy Spoon Rhymeappreciation,change,engla
2/27/2020 Ride The Tide Rhymebeach,metaphor,write,
2/20/2020 Morecambe Bay Rhymeart,beach,england,storm,
2/14/2020 The Last Meal Of A Drowning Mouse Rhymefood,humorous,
2/9/2020 A Gap In The Traffic Rhymeconfusion,emotions,life,
1/25/2020 The Garden Seat Rhymedeath,garden,life,loss,lo
1/20/2020 Winter Shuffle Rhymeengland,nature,snow,weath
1/15/2020 Lives Long Gone Rhymeemotions,loss,love,memory
1/10/2020 Go Rhymeengland,forgiveness,life,
12/31/2019 House For Sale Rhymehome,house,loss,memory,mo
12/23/2019 Wonderland I: The Milliner's Tale Rhymedrink,fantasy,imagery,lit
11/20/2019 Forever Rhymehome,loss,love,peace,peop
11/8/2019 Anorakorama Rhymefun,life,memory,nostalgia
11/5/2019 Into The Land Rhymefreedom,tribute,
10/27/2019 my very nice day at the seaside Rhymebeach,childhood,memory,to
10/21/2019 Carnforth Rhymeengland,feelings,film,nos
10/1/2019 Happiland Free versechildhood,dream,life,memo
10/1/2019 The Marram Grass Free versechildhood,england,family,
10/1/2019 Chapel Lane Rhymeemotions,loss,love,memory
10/1/2019 The Emperor's New Poem Rhymebullying,political,
9/29/2019 Fog Rhymechildhood,confusion,myste
9/28/2019 Acetates And Overheads Rhymeanger,business,emotions,w
9/27/2019 The Critic Rhymeangst,celebrity,introspec
9/26/2019 The Host Rhymeappreciation,daffodils,im
9/26/2019 Rocking Chair And Roll Rhymechildhood,memory,music,
9/26/2019 This Reality Rhymelife,political,technology

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