Poet Not Such A Douchecanoe After All

23 04 2010

Some of you may remember a previous post, in which I ranted and raved about a very poorly-thought-out reference to rape in a poem I critiqued for an English class. (If you don’t: https://thessamercury.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/douchecanoe-poet-also-trigger-warning/)

So today was the last day of that class, and we were reading excerpts from our chapbooks and passing them around. It came to Douchecanoe Poet, and he presented a rather interesting experiment dealing with intertextuality and disintegration of the text, and other things only English majors find interesting. Then, out of the blue, he says, “Oh, by the way, Thessa, I changed that first poem in there.”

He did. The lines that pissed me off so much are gone- replaced by much better lines. It was mindblowing for me, because I agonized over whether or not to speak up about that. I did, and it made a difference.

I don’t think it was an “alter-the-line-to-shut-the-crazy-feminist-girl-up” thing either, because another poem in the chapbook contained a reference to a rape- but handled with infinitely more maturity and sensitivity. And it was about 100x more effective. In addition, we wrote little paragraphs to each student about their work and how they’d changed, etc. etc. etc. In the one I received from him, he mentioned my objection to that poem- I think it was something along the lines of, “Damn, girl, that was fierce.”

So the lesson to take from this? If it bugs you, if it’s stupid and wrong and upsetting, speak up. You might have as much effect as a raindrop on an elephant’s back. Then again, you might not. Some people are willing to change. Here’s to you and your maturity, Not-Such-A-Douchecanoe. Here’s to you.




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