Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I am sad to announce, that due to the proliferation of ads and the addition of videos with my poems being read by a really creepy automated voice with an ad running after a couple of lines of the so called 'reading', I have pulled most of my poems off of the Poemhunter website.  The poems on the pages were literally overrun and lost among all the advertising that was placed around them.  

My relationship with Poemhunter began when 3 of my poems were selected to appear on the site when it first started in 2003.  I was not aware of this until a friend from the Czech Republic let me know that he had found my poems on the internet on the Poemhunter website in 2005.  I checked out the site and started posting more of my poems.  In those days, there was an active community of poets that regularly checked out works of other poets and commented on them. There was also a forum where poets could exchange ideas, discuss form, content, etc.  In the forum, the discussions sometimes were very heated and on occasion digressed to trading insults.  However, there was enough intelligent discourse to keep participating.  I was proud to be one of the poets included in The Poemhunter Anthology, 2005 Inaugural Issue.

When the forum was over run by a few vile zealots who had created alternate personas and indulged in trading insults with themselves and others, I didn't visit the forum much but I still posted poems and read poems written by others.  Once in a while, I was inspired to write poems about the mudslinging on the forum. I couldn't help but peek in once in a while - it was kind of like a bad train wreck that you couldn't keep your eyes off of.  It became so bad that the site had to assign a moderator for the forum.

As this free site grew, there were problems with the website being able to handle the traffic and with funding of the site as well.  Ads were placed on the pages with the poems (which I could tolerate) but then certain words within the poems started to be highlighted so one could click on the word and be taken elsewhere.  When I complained about the blue highlighted words being a distraction and even changing the meaning of my poems by putting emphasis on words I did not want emphasized, I started to have problems accessing and navigating the site.  However, the blue highlights were eventually removed.  

At this time, PH had activated a feature that enabled people to reproduce poems that they read and liked but failed to put in safe guards so various poems turned up on other sites with someone other than the original poet as author of the piece. It took PH a while to fix that. Also, some of our poems were shared with other poetry sites, which was ok with most of us as long as credit was given to the original author.

Because I continued to have difficulty accessing and navigating the site, I didn't post much from 2008 - 2012.  I had even tried to remove my poems but the site wouldn't let me.  I should mention that while I was not the only one having difficulties with the site, many others had absolutely no problems whatsoever. 

In 2013, I was able to access and post on Poemhunter without an issue and so I started posting some of my poems again.  I was locked out of the ability to rate the poems I read even though I had never given anyone a rating lower than a 7 and I usually only rated the poems I felt should get a 9 or 10.  I found that the site was being heavily moderated and censored. 

The forum still has most of the same issues but the nastiness is censored out by a delay between posting and actually being able to see the post.  It makes real time conversations impossible but given the alternative, understandable.  

It used to be that you could put a link to your website/blog or book publisher in your poet bio area.  No outside links are allowed anywhere on the site now.  In other words, I am not allowed to effectively promote my work on PH, but PH can use my work to gain revenue for itself. 

There are so many new poets on PH and many of them send out mass 'please read and like my poem' messages.  Quality has diminished as quantity has increased.  I still can find a few good and interesting poems including some among the 'English as a second language' poets, but it is increasingly difficult to enjoy reading a poem when it is overshadowed by so much superfluous junk.  You eye is automatically drawn away from the poem to the smartly colored, twinkling ads for other parts of PH as well as other advertisers. 

It pains me that what was once a wonderful site for poets has turned into such a hodge-podge of scrap material that effectively defeats the original purpose of PH by burying the poetry in dung.

So quasi-farewell Poemhunter, you can bury my few remaining poems in dung, but you cannot take away the friendships I have made with some amazingly talented poets over the years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment