Tag Archives: boston bombing

Here’s the Poem by Amanda Palmer ’98 that Everyone on the Internet Is Yelling About

Palmer: “It is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it.”

Wesleying's own Gabe took this ridiculously excellent shot of Amanda Palmer at last weekend's "Humanity Festival." Click for the full gallery.

Wesleying’s own Gabe took this ridiculously excellent shot of Amanda Palmer at last weekend’s “Humanity Festival.” Click for the full gallery.

Amanda Palmer ’98 (whom we haven’t blogged about in a whole week-and-a-half, it’s true, we swear) is not much of a stranger to controversy, so the Internet probably shouldn’t have been surprised or outraged when she responded to the Boston bombing by writing a poem for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (titled, fittingly, “A Poem for Dzhokhar“) and posting it on her blog on Sunday.

But that’s not really the way things worked out.

As Palmer herself noted in a follow-up post a few days after posting the poem, “there are 1,947 comments on a poem that took me—no exaggeration—about 9 minutes to write. many of the comments have been confused, many of them understanding, many of them angry.” Indeed, dozens upon dozens of readers have called Palmer out for what they perceive as her self-interest and arrogance in the wake of a tragedy. One particularly popular comment, signed “A fan,” argues that “this isn’t a poem for Dzjokhar, it’s a poem for yourself because you imagine you know how he feels.” The comment currently has 770 up-votes and 12 down-votes, if that gives you an indication of what the reaction has been like.

Burfoot ’68, Champion Runner Who Ran in Boston Marathon on Monday, Has High Hopes for Future of the Race

“Personally you feel deprived for a moment of your chance to reach the finish line. And then slowly through the confusion the real story reaches you.”

Amby Burfoot, dressed in his Wesleyan apparel, after winning the 1968 Boston Marathon.

Amby Burfoot, dressed in his Wesleyan apparel, after winning the 1968 Boston Marathon.

In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, stories emerge from all corners about the shock and terror of the event, not only from the news, but from friends and family as well. While it’s often easy to feel comforted by the Wesleyan “bubble,” there are also important reminders of the direct effect of the tragedy on our greater community.

One such story comes from Amby Burfoot ’68, who in 1968 graduated from Wesleyan and won the Boston Marathon. As an undergrad, Burfoot was a star runner. He was undefeated throughout his four years in cross-country dual races, earned several New England and IC4A college division titles, and has been inducted into the Wesleyan Athletics Hall of Fame. Since graduating, Burfoot has participated in dozens of marathons, and has gone on to become a writer and editor for Runner’s World magazine.

On Monday, Burfoot, 66, was marking the 45th anniversary of his ’68 win by running in the Boston Marathon yet again. He was about a half-mile from the finish line when he was forced to stop where masses had gathered, and he soon learned the reason for this chaos. In the aftermath of the bombings, Burfoot has written, and been interviewed, about his experience on Monday, as well as his hopes for the future of the Boston Marathon.