The new happenings include my increased courage: gettin' out there and asking some poets if they grok what I'm doing. I submitted both the first and last shards at three different forums. The mixed results are below, though some site administrator might well cull these threads at some point.
At each site I started by critiquing roughly ten poems as required [in fact one was required to post only one crit, but I was generous. ]
The first forum was Freewrights. I went by Dagra there and a little friction ensued between myself and another poet, not so much in the critique of my work as on other threads, where I'd critiqued someone else's work.
Next was "401: Songs of Despair," on the poets.org site. There I was DaveDave, and yeah, there was more friction. Lots more, and I THREW DOWN. The carnage is there to be witnessed -- it's relatively polite carnage. http://www.poets.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18647 and http://www.poets.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18667
Condensed version: Someone whose work I'd critiqued responded in kind. We had a brief discussion. No-one else contributed, so I eventually posted gentle challenges. This brought some other replies; I responded, and then an administrator reminded me of the rules. Upon which she felt I'd trespassed. Though I didn't agree I was most civil.
Then came Scribophile, and life became better. I'd found them serendipitously, through a Google alert for "epic poem." They had an epic poem contest, requiring iambic pentameter in heroic couplets with a 2,000 word limit. I don't want to confirm that I'm a total epic poetry snob, so I'll just leave it alone. What matters is that I both gave and GOT some good critiques: they said nice things about the work, and more importantly were insightful and appeared to grasp what I was trying to do.
I'm not certain there's much point in posting all of this, but this blog concerns my efforts to complete the poem and to communicate my work to the rest of the world. In the last few weeks I've gotten new determination to do both.
More Stuff Coming.
More Stuff Coming.