Saturday, February 11, 2006


Well, this week has been rather mixed. A good work week with lots achieved and a whopping big pay rise to boot, but the writing has been very thin. I’m still trying to settle down to write something I have in mind for the Guardian workshop, but I’m getting nowhere with it so far.

Today, I also received back my second and last assignment from my tutor on the short poetry course. When I saw the 75% mark he’d given ‘Mrs Slingsby’s Surreptitious Occupation’, I realised that I really didn’t like anyone marking my creative writing. I’m still trying to work out why. It isn’t any element of criticism inferred by the mark (I can take the harshest criticism and learn from it), I suspect it might be because it feels like a kind of price tag – “this poem is worth 75 out of 100” – I don’t like that. And I suspect I wouldn’t like it whatever the mark was from 0 to 100. Sadly, what I really needed was pretty much absent – feedback. My tutor commented about:
  • My strong observations
  • The nature of the poem being “darkly comic”
  • One line break he liked and one he didn’t (some of my breaks are “clumsy” – like L4 of S4)
  • The last line, which he liked and felt it made the poem
Apart from that one line break, he hasn’t given me a single thing that helps me improve the poem. But maybe I totally misunderstood the point of the course – maybe that wasn’t what it was all about? Either way, it was a fine waste of £125. Nuts.


Autumn said...

Hi Messalina,

75 out of 100 is pretty good. Just too bad you did not get enough feedback to improve on the poem. Maybe you can let us know what you learnt from the course and whether it helped you at all. That is, if you want to tell us or else just disregard my curiosity.


Messalina said...

Hey autumn,

It was really the whole marking thing I had problems with - it just feels weird...

I'll do a proper review of the course for my next entry (I seem to be managing only 1 a week at the moment as my day job has become a bit frantic).

Anonymous said...

As I said in my post to Ghost, Slingsby was great, it needs work, but it's good - the man is an idiot, or too busy, if all he can find to comment on is a couple of line breaks and the tone.