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Amanda Palmer posts 'A Poem for Dzhokhar' and responds to commenters

April 23, 2013|By Randy Lewis
  • Amanda Palmer, shown at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, has posted "a poem for dzhokhar" on her blog.
Amanda Palmer, shown at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, has posted… (Tim Mosenfelder / Getty…)

Boston-based musician Amanda Palmer has generated an outpouring of responses to her posting over the weekend “A Poem for Dzhokhar,” in reference to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

It’s a 35-line series of statements, posted to Palmer's blog, each beginning “you don’t know … .” Beginning with “you don’t know how it felt to be in the womb but it must have been warmer than this.”

Some of the other lines:

“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."

FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack

“you don’t know how convinced your parents were that having children would be, absolutely, without question, the correct thing to do."

“you don’t know how things could change so incredibly fast."

“you don’t know how to make something, but the instructions are on the internet."

“you don’t know how to make sense of this massive parade."

“you don’t know how to believe anyone anymore.”

Because of the voluminous and intensely emotional responses, Palmer has posted a follow-up note explaining what prompted her to write it, a process she says took her just nine minutes.

“Right now, in the wake of the unspeakable things that just happened here in Boston, a lot of people are very angry, and confused … and afraid,” she wrote, “including me. Which is why I wrote.

“As many people in the comments have pointed out: art is how I deal,” she notes. “I take the things around me, and I put them in a blender in my mind, and I connect the dots, and I layer, and … I write. Sometimes songs, sometimes poems, sometimes emails.”

Regarding the number and tone of people’s responses, Palmer writes, “Many of the comments have been confused, many of them understanding, many of them angry.

“This is the best thing that art can do – any art, good art, bad art, 9-minute art and 9-year art … reveal things.

“The last thing I wrote was the title, because that’s usually the last thing I write,” she added. “I could have titled ‘a poem for dzhokhar’ a million things. I could have called it 'the past 48 hours' or 'everything in my brain right now'. I didn’t.

"A lot of the poem got misinterpreted,” she wrote. “It is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it.”


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