Controversial Poetry on the Boston Marathon Bombing

In the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, there has been a surge of internet poetry for the victims of this tragedy. I came across an extremely controversial poem that someone wrote about the tragedy. It’s entitled “a poem for dzhokhar”  and was written by Amanda Palmer. Shortly after she posted this poem to her blog, an uproar took place over the internet. The title of the poem as well as the subject matter caused it to gain much negative attention. Many people interpreted the poem to be expressing sympathy towards the man that caused the bombing, and as you can see from the comments below the poem, they became extremely angry. Shortly afterwards, Amanda Palmer posted a response to her blog, where she claimed that “a lot of the poem got misinterpreted. it is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it.” This statement reminded me about our discussion on the Intentional Fallacy, where nobody except the author alone truly knows what the author intends. This poem by Amanda Palmer demonstrates exactly what happens a poem is affected by Intentional Fallacy; the readers of her poetry interpreted it in a different way than what she intended, and as a result of this, arguments erupted. I found it interesting how strong of an effect poetry can have upon the public. 

In addition to this, I also did some research on Amanda Palmer. She is primarily known as a musician, and is a singer and songwriter. The fact that Palmer is both a musician and a poet reminded me of our class discussions on rap and poetry. I think that this discussion can also apply to the lyrics of any genre of music. Lyrics can be compared to poetry in much the same way as rap is compared to poetry; both employ rhythms and sound devices.


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