sheenaghpugh: (Do somethin' else!)
[personal profile] sheenaghpugh
Woman emails to berate me for saying on my website that I dislike one of my poems - "whenever I read this remark, it makes me very cross". Well don't read it then, pal. It's a free country, even the author has a right to an opinion and NOBODY HAS A RIGHT NEVER TO SEE SOMETHING THAT OFFENDS THEM.

Fairly seething, to be honest. I could have taken the damn poem out of circulation and prevented its ever being reprinted anywhere; as the author I'd have been well within my rights. I didn't, because I know that some folk, particularly those prone to depression, find it comforting. But I'm damned if I feel obliged to keep quiet about my own opinion of the thing as an artistic production. Clearly she feels that by criticising it I'm implicitly criticising her taste in poems, which may well be the case, but when did that become illegal? And if this remark, which AFAIK appears only on my website, offends her so much, why does she keep reading it?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-22 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Apparently Paul Simon has said he doesn't like "Richard Cory". I hadn't realised that the correct protocol was to send him a rude email telling him that he has Wounded me to my Very Soul.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-22 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And if this remark, which AFAIK appears only on my website, offends her so much, why does she keep reading it?

That is the question of the century. I don't understand why people feel the need to complain about things they weren't forced to read. It always makes me want to email them and say, "You see that circle with the arrow in it in the upper left-hand corner of your web browser? It's called the 'Back' button." :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-22 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
People get an odd sense of entitlement to things they like, including literary and artistic creations as well as media, and feel indignant when anyone, even the *creator*, goes against their ideal.

It's infuriating, but I can't really think of any response to her that's any better than ignoring her. Your time is too valuable to waste on her.

"Turn over the leaf. . ."

Date: 2011-09-23 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So you, the poet, are not "allowed" to say you no longer like one of your poems ? Is this the only thing that makes this person cross ? If it is, blimey, she's an extremely fortunate woman.

I think I know the poem you mean! Having been to your website. I myself am prone to depression and don't especially find it comforting though accept that some might. (We're a broad church, depressives.) What would rile me a little would be someone bouncing up to me and recommending such-and-such a poem (any poem) as if something like clinical depression can be zapped stone-dead by such methods. Another thing that riles me (in the same vein) is certain people who really believe the only thing people with clinical depression need is a daily walk and lots of vegetables.

There, I've mentioned two things already that annoy me far more than a poet saying s/he no longer likes something they have written ! I like your work, Sheenagh, and am pleased to have discovered your blog.


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