Your laughter is great

Thankfully, I have never experienced a reading like the one narrated by Jezebel writer Jenna. I'm not familiar with the poet in particular, but she sounds like a flarfist, and as such, reliant upon her delivery more so than a lot of more conventional poets. Which got me thinking more about poetry as performance. I mean, it is. Flarf or not, poetry is to be said. I never really consider a poem finished, point of fact, until I have read it to another person (or at least my cat.) It sounds like the audience of the reading in question here could use some theatre appreciation 101. And also the poet. I mean, the poet sort of half-assedly asked for a response, but in the wake of something as powerful as a poem, she could not have expected to (and didn't) mitigate the response she got. What she got was a lot of people shouting down "the laughers." Fortunately, Jenna had the gumption to talk to the poet herself and confirm that the response she gave was "correct" - but why should she need to do that at all? I think that poets need to be aware that reading (performing) for people is a necessary part of their craft, and thus a responsibility (not just an opportunity) to be an ambassador for their art. I think people like Jenna - in all respects incredibly talented and intelligent - are freaked out by poetry simply because they can't appreciate it in an organic way without feeling mene mene tekel upharsin burned into the backs of their heads - weighed, found wanting. The fact is there is no one true and correct way to react to any performance and poetry is no exception. So, yes, Jenna, your laughter is great. You got it.


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