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.