How do you respond to comments on your blog posts?
This is a question that nags at me from time to time, as it probably does for many bloggers, both newbies and veterans.
I consider this blog to be a personal/poetry blog–which means, basically, I write about anything that strikes my fancy. It’s all very flexible and irresponsible, just the way I like it.
When people comment on a prose post, I feel comfortable addressing their comments directly, agreeing or slightly disagreeing, giving more information, or whatever.
But when I post a poem, my instinct is to step back and let people comment without much input other than thanks. It’s because the poem is a crafted item, an object, just as much as if I knitted a blanket. If someone likes or doesn’t like the color or pattern, what comeback do I have about something so subjective?
I’m not a fan of poems that are outrageously obscure, but I don’t think readers have to be spoonfed. While there should be some direction, I believe a poem should have space for interpretation. If anyone’s interpretation is completely off the mark from what was intended, it could very well be that I did not craft that poem very well and it needs some revision. Despite our best efforts, it is hard to be completely objective about our own work, so it pays to at least listen to what other have to say about a piece. If my response seems as if I’m on the defensive, then I feel I may be discouraging honest opinions.
Also, does the format make a difference? After all, this is a blog, which by definition, I think, means it’s interactive. Do readers want to know more about a poem from my perspective–such as a poem’s origin or my explanation of its meaning–or are they content to let it stand on its own?
What’s your take on commenting on poems and the poet’s response? In general, do you go back and read the response to your comments? On your own blog, do you welcome respectful disagreement in your comment section or do you want people to be politely silent if they do not share your opinions?
[This post was included in the June 2012 edition of the Third Sunday Blog Carnival.]
© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011