We’re sure it was with the best intentions that Amanda Palmer posted “A Poem for Dzhokhar” on her website. But the response to the poem — a list of things Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , the 19-year-old accused Marathon bomber, likely doesn’t know — has been downright nasty. Gawker.com, for example, called it “the worst poem of all time,” adding: “It’s bad writing, it’s bad timing, it’s bad ideas; it’s inane and self-serving, and adds nothing to our understanding of the marathon bombing.” (Here are the first several lines of the poem: “you don’t know how it felt to be in the womb but it must have been at least a little warmer than this/ you don’t know how intimately they’re recording your every move on closed-circuit cameras until you see your face reflected back at you through through the pulp/ you don’t know how to stop picking at your fingers/ you don’t know how little you’ve been paying attention until you look down at your legs again. . .”) Salon.com didn’t object to the poem itself but to Palmer’s “determined haughtiness” when it was criticized. “Taking a tragedy and swiftly making it all about yourself is never pretty — and it isn’t art,” wrote Salon.com’s Mary Elizabeth Williams . Palmer, who has over 866,000 followers on Twitter, seemed surprised by the response, tweeting: “ahhh, it’s been a long time on since internet trolls yelled at me that i was a slut, a talentless whore and a hippy!!! welcome, friends!!” She also encouraged people to revisit the poem: “now that everybody’s panties are in a twist, i’d like to say: the poem is actually about more than you think it is. read it again.” If you get to the end, you’ll see Palmer links to The One Fund, which helps those affected by the Marathon bombings.
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