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Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:38 pm
Congratulations on your Commended David,
It's a tough job being a judge and they're bound by certain rules as they see and interpret them. I have no hard feelings about my result, I was aware that the word in question was marginal in the context of how I used it, and I could easily used another 3 syllable word if I wished.
David being a bushie like I am, I have faced the same problem you have come up against here, if you don't write as you would normally speak it (unless you are using Aussie slang right throughout the poem) most judges will ping you. But it's still a damn good poem mate.
And by the way congratulations to all the winners from the Cervantes Comp, it was great to see so many Forum members entering and picking up awards.
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:45 pm
Thanks Marty, & Terry, I agree mate, wouldn't like to be a judge & 99% give good & honest critique & this one was no different, the other couple of things that were pointed out, I do appreciate & I have rectified, it was that one line that stuck in my rear (so to speak)
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:48 pm
I can't undertand how our mate Terry could miss an award because of one word allegedly used wrongly. The famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas used words in all sorts of unorthodox ways. He will still be regarded as great poet long after some bush poetry referees have disappeared.
At the end of the day, a judge has to make a decision on which poem he is going to award first place to - in this case, the only thing separating the two poems in the eyes of the judge was a word used slightly out of context. Yes, that is nitpicking, but how else do you decide when you have two great poems, but one prize to award??? The judge did comment that there were a lot of other poems that were winning poems, but when there is a monetary prize, you do not have the luxury of giving equal prizes, so you have to make a choice somewhere.
They talk about metric consistency ( whatever that might mean , still trying to discover ) but almost nowhere do I see any reference to the power of poetic expression. I understand your frustration Dave, believe me I understand . I fear that in the bush poetry arena if these judges keep their focus on lesser things like formal structure, then the vision of the power of the poetic will get get downgraded to our loss.
Unfortunately (or fortunately!!) Australian bush poetry has a certain criteria if you want to classify it as bush poetry - that encompasses good rhyme and rhythm. Having a formal structure by no means takes away the power of poetic expression - you do not have to go far to find excellent australian poetry that has both!! And believe me, the judges do take poetic expression into account, as well as the formal structure of a poem.
It's the same old argument - if you want to enter a bush poetry competition - you enter a poem that meets the criteria.
If you don't like that criteria - don't enter! There are so many competitions around for whatever style of poetry you want to write that there is no reason to be submitting poetry into competitions where they don't meet the criteria for that competition. It doesn't make a style of poetry right or wrong - just unique!! And we can all write many different styles of poetry if we want to - and enter them in different types of competitions - but we do not have the right to criticize competitions just because they are not what we want!!
If I want to go ball room dancing, I go to a place that does ball room dancing.
If I want to do disco dancing, I go to a disco.
If I want to do ballet, I go to a ballet class.
And nothing stops me from doing all three and enjoying the uniqueness of each!!
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:53 am
I think Irene has hit nail on the head in this discussion. There can only be one winner and if all that separates a couple of poems is something trivial like a misplaced word then that would influence the decision. Makes sense to me. If one of the two was a standout even with the misplaced word it would probably still win.
The power of poetic expression as Neville puts it does come into play. Just on a personal level. Recently I took out two awards in the same competition and the poem with the higher award had what the judge referred to as slight inconsistencies in meter (no surprise to me, I struggle with meter) but obviously it caught the judges eye because of the content. The comments on the lesser award were that the rhyme and meter were good and the story was engaging (or something like that) but not particularly memorable. So it would appear content is definitely taken into account if you can read from those comments that one was more 'technically correct' than the other but got a lesser award because the content was unmemorable.
On another occasion I entered three poems but got no award at all and the judges comments were set out in a tabulated set up of columns that they ticked. Two of the three poems I entered had all the ticks in the outstanding column (the highest one). One would assume that they were both reasonably correct in the technical department if they got the highest ticks for rhyme and meter, (can't remember what the other columns were now) but the bottom line is they didn't get any award at all so the ones that did must have been more memorable than mine. Sounds like content won out on that occasion as well, as it should if all else is equal.
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:20 am
Who'd be a Judge willingly ???!!!
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:50 am
Not me Val, that's for sure.
I reckon they do a great job. Just having to read all those entries would be enough to put me off poetry for life.
On that for just a moment. That Ipswich competition had a total of 1200+ entries of which 900+ were from school kids. Sounds like poetry is still alive and well in the schools.
Not sure how many were 'bush' poetry but many of the winning poems did rhyme.
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:30 pm
Good stuff here cobbers,
I've judged several art shows; same as poetry shows.
A thousand entries; wouldbe's are picked out pretty quick. Tech stuff is considered, but, it eventually gets down to the contributors who have "real soul", and sometimes several do. So, as I don't believe in competitions for artistic work, I suggest the first prize should go to more than one work, leave it to the organisers to sort out the legals; divvy up the prize; and handle the controversy in the local media. Gets good publicity for the show and strangely, I'm invited back.
I'm not perfect, but perfect is hardly ever right. Who's right?
Cripes! I swore to me myself I wouldn't swear (which I haven't), or preach (which I have) on the forum, again…bugger!
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:08 pm
You can't help yourself Dave - good to see you back here with that irreverent sense of humour you have - I for one have missed you - think all the points raised here are valid and something has to be the X factor - so if it be a word out of context or the memorability of the words that make the decision - so be it.
There can only be one winner - as many have said.
Judging art shows? Really - tell us more.
Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:13 pm
I hope you are wrong Martyboy, that the judges choice is a whim. That would make the contests just a lottery and not worth the trouble.
Irene, I understand the notion that one is to comply with criteria in a set event. No problem for me. I just expect that the judge will judge by the same criteria that are set for the entrants.
There's a lot of very ordinary people ( I'm one ) having a go for a bit of interest, ( and contributing funds to the local clubs ) Don't forget; without them there will be no competitions. I reckon that in bush poetry, encouragement takes precedence over rules and definitions.
After all, bush poetry is not a brand name, a trademark or a patented product. Is it ??
Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:08 am
Hi Martyboy, I made some comment along those lines but I might have confused people (easy for me) because the two poems I was talking about were in two different categories. But having said that I agree with you that the final decision might well be at the whim of the particular judge on the day. How many times have we heard the comments that the standard was so high it was a difficult decision and in the end came down to the winning poem having the 'wow' factor. What constitutes the 'wow' factor for me, might be completely different for you, so one would assume the same thing would apply for judges. They are only human after all, and how else can anything be judged when all else is equal but to pick the one that resonates with the judge the most. Nothing wrong with that, decisions are made like that every day and that's what they are there for, to make a decision. Yeah that might make it a bit like a lottery, but it's a lottery with a difference. There has to be a certain standard achieved before you even get into the lottery. As Dave (I think) said, it's easy to pick the wannabes, and they are out of the game pretty quickly.