Poets generally like to receive feedback on what they write. It proves they are being read, which feels good, and it's often helpful to know what images or lines sparked the emotions of another person. But it takes conscious attention to ensure that feedback works as it should and enhances the sense of trust and mutual support here--and anywhere it is given.
3 rules all commenters should follow:
1. Be respectful. No disrespect will be tolerated.
2. Give feedback as “I” statements: “When I hear your poem, I think about…” not “Your poem is about…”
3. If you wish to offer specific edits or ideas for major revision, ask first: “Would you like to hear an idea about your last stanza?” If the poet declines, respect their wishes.
3 extra tips:
1. If you are seeking specific types of feedback on your poem, or avoiding certain types, go ahead and ask: "Can I get a response to the pacing of this piece?" "I'm not sure about lines 3 and 4. What do you think?" "Please -- no criticism on this piece, constructive or otherwise. Thanks."
2. When giving feedback, be specific: "For me, the imagery about breathing triggered many memories and a response I could feel in my body." "The whole third stanza was especially powerful for me."3. Continue discussions offline. If you and another poet are having a deep discussion, consider emailing directly and privately. You might even ask a specific poet for specific feedback before or after posting.