Tuesday, January 04, 2005


For a couple of months now I have done something in other peoples' blogs which I consider mean. What I do, sometimes, when I come across a poem someone has posted to their blog, is rewrite it, and post the rewrite to their comments section with no other explanation.

This is an inherently hostile and passive-aggressive thing to do, I think. I have to admit that my motive is pride. The rationalization is that they might take it as a compliment, or that it would start a discussion about writing, or cause them to see their own writing in a different way. That may be true, but it's still rationalization. The truth is that I'm trying to show off.

Last night I admitted as much to my lovely wife, and we speculated about the reaction it might provoke. I guessed that about half the people would be offended outright at the mere gesture. After all, this is their blog for their private thoughts, and presumably they wrote the poem as part of their personal process, not trying to win a poetry prize. Some guy coming in and mucking with it would be seen as an intruder.

In smaller fractions, the remaining people might have less hostile reactions, I thought, and some few might even see it as a literary discussion.

Lo and behold, this morning Angela left a comment that demonstrated that I may be underestimating my fellow human beings:

Your variaton on my poem was beautiful. A vast improvement. Thank you.

Or maybe this just goes to prove my other theory, that women are better than men.
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