Poetry can be as deceptive as Hip Hop when it comes to who can do it. Unfortunately anyone can "pen a scribe" or "drop a verse" but not everyone can do it well. On the outside it looks easy. Almost anyone can pretend to hold a mic and become (in their own mind) the next Hip Hop legend, just as many people feel that because they can (sometimes) rhyme 2 words in a rambling paragraph they are the next metaphorical genius. (Obviously I’m not talking about the poetry on Destee since every piece here is a masterpiece, or at least yours is right?) For the most part poetry is an expression of someone’s feelings, their experiences, their observations or even their fantasies and as such are all “subjective” to the listener. A night of passion with a stranger may be one person’s fantasy but another person’s reason to go to the clinic. Or one person’s “abeyance of the rules” may be another person’s “censorship”. Although it is always your choice to share with the world your wisdom, your insights, your experiences or your inspirations, some may or may not agree with your flow, your style or your interpretations. So when you choose to express yourself in an open public forum you should always be prepared for the possibility of constructive or "not so" constructive criticism. Exposing ones self to public scrutiny “is not” for the faint of heart. To perform on stage in front of thousands of people or to sit on a stool in front of a small gathering of people to share a moment of collective coconsciousness requires the ability for a person to become something greater than themselves. If you are a sensitive soul or are easily offended (Ever thought about being a moderator, just kidding!) then maybe your work is too personal for public comsumption. If your ego is larger than life or your vocabulary then maybe you should find the kind of friends that will tell you the truth even when it hurts. Maybe you already have those kind of friends and family but are "you" the kind of person that solicits honest opinions of others? I am perfect by no means so I try and surround myself with people that care enough about me to tell me the truth about myself, even when it would be easier to lie. (Don't let me walk out he door with black dress shoes and white socks ok?) Now it's true that as long as someone comes up with a good idea there will always be someone around to hate on it. Maybe there will always be “haters” in the world but that doesn’t mean someone sharing an honest opinion with you is hating. I believe that strength comes from how we deal with adversity, integrity comes from the strength of our character and perseverance comes from our ability to survive the challenges we face everyday. The reason why I created this thread is because I will soon be hosting a series of chat sessions where everyone is encouraged to talk about all things serious and not so serious, to debut their latest and greatest creative works, or just come along for the ride. Let me be clear, this is not a "class". This is an open invitation for you to come and express yourself even if we disagree. Just grown folks keepin’ it real!