The Gauntlet

The Prompt: Handle With Care—How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?

The Gauntlet

If brutal honesty’s your thirst,
please don’t throw down the gauntlet first.

I have no need for verbal sparring.
In fact, I find it rather jarring.

So please pick up your gauntlet and
just place it back upon your hand.

Kind’s my material of choice
with which to gird thy hand and voice

as you tell me how I’ve erred,
so please wear gloves and wear them paired!

And then I have one more request.
Other critics have found it best

while telling me how to comport
myself in life, to make it short!

15 thoughts on “The Gauntlet

  1. mandy

    The word criticism has such negative connotations, so it’s hard to think of it used in a positive way. I love productive comments that help me improve. Brutal anything, not so much! 🙂


  2. Ann O'Neal Garcia

    I prefer NOT to be criticized at all–I hope this is very human of me, though I realize I could do better if I took a few lessons from well-meaning critics. Yes, kid leather or cotton would be nice and short, yes, keep it succinct! We are not alone. Neil Simon will not read any reviews of his work. Someone famous had reviews clipped out of newspaper before he got to them. Some people make fun of critiques; Judy Blume wore a slip to a Hallowe’en party on which were pinned all her rejection slips. Some people have a fit at critiques: when Steven King got his first book, Carrie, back for the umpteenth time, he threw the package in the trash and said that’s it, I’m going back to teaching. His wife took the disposed novel out of the trash, told him she’d be his agent, and sold it on her first mailing!
    Actually, I like a critique done sweetly the way English teachers who are kind do it…mostly nice comments, sugar-coating the few comments that could sting.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Now, Ms. Ann O’G–You have perfected the art of kind comments, sugar-coating the few comments that could sting. So how come you didn’t point out to me that I’d repeated one couplet in my poem? I’d written it, then paraphrased it, but forgot and left both versions in. Amazing I didn’t notice it until now. I have, by the way, changed it. But, no more 4 quatrains now that 2 lines are missing. Still not sure whether to break it into couplets or just put it into one long stanza. Or quatrains with a couplet at the end. Or. Or. I’ll take suggestions…J


  3. Pingback: Politeness and Courtesy…How far should you go | Let me tell U a story

  4. Pingback: For Fandango’s one-word challenge: Handle | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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