----- Original Message ----- To: <email@example.com> Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 10:55 PM Subject: Re: My essay > No sweat. > > By the way, I had one of my really crazy, conservative parishioners start > quoting fairly erotic poetry from your web site and I was sort of caught > off guard. Any thoughts (this is not an accusation here, simply a > question). They said you are posting pornography on your site (like all > wild, preedatory homosexuals...blah, blah, blah.) and how disalute all > LGBT people really are (your site was proof....). > Just want to know how to handle them the next time, and there will be a > next time. They really are fairly sick folks. > XXXXXX David Virtue stirred up that hornets nest and ranted about my "pornography" for quite a while. I was particularly amused that he went in a big way for my parody of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130, to his "dark lady." Mine is published as "A Shaking Spear" at http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/queers.html#shakings Shakespeare makes a similar point about his "Dark Lady." Both of us are making fun of erotic stereotypes and standing instead for thoughtful, loving caring relationships. I agree that it takes an adult sensibility to read such material. I also agree that many with an adult sensibility may still decide they don't like his or mine or both. It also takes a ticklebox in good repair to read either poem. Four editors have published that poem besides the collection which I published above. I wrote it 25 years ago, so it is hardly the sensibility that I'm in at age 68. I won't undertake to explicate all 866 of my published poems. Obviously some editors have liked them and some readers, or they would not have been published. They are not major works, but rather throw-aways. I like canonical literature, spent a career teaching it, but prefer to write ephemeral pieces, mainly to re-mystify the world, as I spend so much of my prose, (764 prose publications) trying to demystify it. Teaching at Chinese University in Hong Kong, I asked two classes to read the Song of Soloman. I told one class that it was from the Bible, and did not give the source to the other class. I asked each class to respond for a school board who had received a complaint that the teacher assigning it was assigning pornography. Students who did not know it was from the Bible had an easier job of condemning it. (See a full report of this in "Thus Spake Who? at at href=http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pubd/tspakew.html) I suspect that much of the evil that your complainants allege is in the eye of the beholder, though I would be the first to admit that I would not write now many of the items that I wrote 20 and 30 years ago. Chaucer said the same, as did Wordsworth, though I am absolutely not in their league. I am glad they did not tear up the earlier, more interesting versions. Joy! Louie
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