Is it good?
Does it feel forced in any way?
Does it have depth?
Is it finished?
A few times along the way, someone has asked, "Are you sure it's finished? It doesn't look like it to me." In one case in particular, having I heard these critiques out, and questioned the work, mulling it over and over, I knew that that poem was complete. In time, those who thought it otherwise returned to say, "Yeah, it is complete. You were right." It was immensely gratifying to know that I had stayed the correct course.
However, I can sense it in my core when something is amiss, though I may have no idea what is wrong with my poem.. That's usually about the time when someone will point to a word or a phrase and ask me, "Are you sure?" I'll search till I understand the fault, then struggle with the it until I finally find the remedy. It's so important that I do.
In truth, although criticism tends to sting initially, I am ever grateful to any and all editors, whether their observations prove to be right or wrong. Still, in the end, I am the poet, and the final judgement of a work rests with me. I strive to be absolutely certain, from my deepest being, that the poem stands as it should, because I must, for that is how this game is played.