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Kasey tears apart a mutant kitten [country]:
[...] If a student of mine wrote this poem, I might wince internally, but I wouldn't really be able to say anything negative other than that the student had produced a kind of poem that I'm not particularly interested in, a poem whose philosophical underpinnings I find questionable at best. And even here, as I said earlier, I myself would be guilty of concealing the fact that the poem put a lump [I wrote limp accidentally first] in my throat. What kind of dishonesty is that? Whence my wince? Mary Oliver appears to have written the poem she wanted to, in the way best suited to the ends she wanted to achieve. Is it a bad poem? Is it "objectively" funny as a result of some failure of consciousness on Oliver's part? Is it possible to make the argument that a certain type of poem should not be written at all? Such an argument would clearly have nothing to do with craft per se, but would at base be a position founded on attitudes--many, though not necessarily all of them, unexamined--surrounding taste. Too often, these attitudes give rise to a weird process of reification in which the persons possessing them feel justified in projecting such taste onto matters of technical execution. If we set out to wage war against poems like "The Kitten," we should not fool ourselves into thinking that we can deploy an ideologically neutral appeal to craft as our sole weapon. Nor should we pretend that the ideologically loaded appeal of the poem in question is one to which we are immune purely by virtue of announcing our staunch resistance.
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