Magritte's Egg

A Community of Poets

Poetry: the Thought Which Sees
Posting Access:
Select Members , Moderated
This is a highly selective, exclusive community for serious poets who wish to critique and be critiqued in a disciplined, but nurturing environment. In other words, this community is a workshopping community. As such, it is important that each member comment on at least one poem for every post he or she makes - reciprocity is the golden rule.

A Word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die

~ Emily Dickinson

For new applicants:

A. First of all, potential members must apply using the following form:
  1. Name:
  2. Age:
  3. Three to five favorite poets:
  4. Reason for wanting to join this community:
  5. Three poems by which to decide admittance (If poem is long, please put it behind an lj   cut):

B. Voting Procedure: Each member must be approved by at least one moderator regardless. That having been said, an applicant can be voted in by either the two moderators in consensus or by one moderator and four members of the community. There is, of course, the case where a person can be deemed a member through invitation, in which case that person does not have to apply, but is stll required to post the application information minus the three poems.

C. It is important that each member be aware that this is a community in which his or her work will be critiqued, so be prepared for constructive criticism. If you cannot handle anyone criticizing your poetry, please do not apply.

D. This community does not tolerate inflammatory or dismissive commentary. Yes, you can be honest in your critiques (in fact, we endorse that), but they must be worded in such a way as to instruct, not to demean. It is one thing to point out a flaw and another to show how to overcome it. For every negative comment, we expect a constructive suggestion. If the above rule is violated, the member will be immediately banned.

E. Participation is crucial. Members are required to comment on others work at least as much as they post their own work. This courtesy will be returned in kind. If a member does not meet this standard, he or she will first be warned and then banned.

F. If an applicant does not make it in the first time, he or she may reapply one week later with different poems.

For members:

A. Members must post a poem or post one comment per week. If a member neglects to post for two weeks, he or she will be warned and then banned, unless there is a valid excuse for not posting. If a member knows he or she will not be posting for a week or two, please inform us beforehand.

B. A member may be voted out at any time, but it must always be approved by both moderators. Don't worry too much, for we are not a cruel lot.

C.There will occassionally be assignments, which we expect all members to do. For example, we may ask everyone to write a villanelle. This will not happen so often as to be overwhelming, but it will happen. We really want members to enjoy it.

D. Members are required to follow C, D, and E of the "For new applicants" rules.

The Rubric

New applicants will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5.

5 - Excellent, nearly flawless writing in which imagery, cadence, and argument work harmoniously to create a work worth aspiring to. Fives will be very rare.

4 - Above average work in which a poem may be strong in one area, but weak in another, yet still shows qualities of a five, but could benefit from a revision.

3 - Average work. This is where most poems will fall. It will have clarity and a reasonable cohesiveness. Also, it will have an even tone. It may have some bad elements like an excess of modifiers or poorly structured lines, but these things don't overpower the entire poem. It's the type of poem that would require several revisions, but contains something worthwhile.

2 -Amateurish work that contains some aspects of an average poem, but lacks clarity and cohesiveness. This is the type of poem that would be written by a person who does not understand what is essential to the poem. It may contain an overuse of modifiers, impertinent details, and may be poorly structured. There might be bad line-breaks, for instance. In other words, form and content would not work together.

1- Amateurish work in which the poem contains cliches, mixed metaphors, mixed diction, predicitability, poverty of content such as poorly utilized abstractions and inconclusive endings.


1. Do not use the following words, unless used in a surprising manner (which is very difficult):
heart    god
love    pain
life    eternity
soul    death
blood    beauty
rose    abyss
blackness   truth

and all other abstract words

2. Please spare us tortured, teenage Goth drivel.

Example lines:

bleeding the darkness of sorrow from my heart

pain like a crow's beak from each eye

Suggested Poets

Pablo Neruda
Vicente Huidobro
T.S. Eliot
Dylan Thomas
W.S. Merwin
Emily Dickinson
Amy Clampitt
Charles Baudelaire
Rimbaud (as translated by Louise Varese)
Sylvia Plath
Rainer Maria Rilke
Anne Sexton
Sharon Olds (Her first book Satan Says)
Li-Young Lee
Elizabeth Bishop
Hart Crane
Mary Oliver ( American Primitive)
Conrad Aiken
Derek Walcott

and the list goes on...