poetry critical

online poetry workshop

Current Stats
  • poems: 48,483 (6,311 active)
  • comments: 320,488
  • ratings: 115,106
  • average rating: 7.5
  • forum posts: 256,514
  • users: 10,238 (1 active)
  • current users: 0


Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Poetry Critical 2.0

Hey guys, Donald here.

In a few weeks, this site will be 9 years old. 9 years! And I still know some of the earliest submissions by heart.

But, boy. That’s like 102 in web-years. So it’s time for something new. I’m building that something now with my nights-and-weekend minutes (and plenty of coffee). Buy me a cup?

Development updates from Twitter:

Follow @poetrycritical for more!

Random Poem:


In my arms
Tightly pink and wailing
Her animation belying the inevitability of still life.
How could I ever imagine that I could love
This ugly, crumpled thing?
Ruthlessly demanding;
Crawling around my hesitations with her guilelessness,
Her disgusting helplessness,
Her need for my constant protection.
All expectations denote how she should make me feel:
The cold blue lake of the health visitor coos
When she opens her maw in a terrible parody of a smile
Which is almost definitely wind
Or a prelude to a cry.
A mother. Did I really think she would change me?
Did I imagine instant daylight in my long slow sleep of death?
I expect too much of her
And yet she expects everything from me.
Don't think I do not see the darted accusations,
The doubts about my ability to nurture this beast
When they want to love her
And I leave her to cry; her bawling face screwed up
Like an old, old man – all sickly shadows and wrinkles.
My impatient tongue snaps quickly;
Cutting her with words she does not understand.
Her incomprehension ensures that the wounds are not deep
Nor hurtful.
No red rain falls from my little piggy.
Her skin remains smooth, untainted by my vicious blows.
If she had
Just one cut
I could justify her revolting seepage
And the constant caterwauling.
I could reel her in like a huge pink shiny fish –
Repair her membranous fabric –
No longer hold her with just one finger, an arm's length away.
I could make her better.
Turn her into one of those babies that proper people have
With chubby smiles like soft fudge, moulded into the image of
"Hasn't he got his father's nose"
"He's just like his mother".
And cheeks you just want to pinch. Hard. Until he squeals
And becomes dirty, mucous filled and real.
Oh, she is real.
Horrifyingly so.
She exists so much more than I ever dreamed she would.
A fat, pastel-clad wedge driving me apart.
I do not want her.
She has not fulfilled her purpose and put me back together,
What use has she now?
My baby. An extension of someone else.
Torn hotly from my velvet womb; a part of me, no addition.
An empty space where she should have remained.
I was not whole and she has taken more from me
Than I could afford to give.
A thief; her swollen, milk-fattened flesh evidence of her heinous crime.
I am sick to death of how much of me she is.
If I were to kill her now I am not so stupid to believe
She could be reabsorbed
Nor implanted back into my deflated belly with
Big black spider-legged stitches.
She is whole.
She does not need an ounce of my greasy flesh.
We are frighteningly identical-
Interchangeable even-
And the meaningless cries, issued from the soggy black hole in her face
Just make me hate her
For her similarity to me.

(comment on this poem)