What we don't understand...

Commenter Dwayne is annoyed by the poetry thread:

I just realized something. I'm pretty sure most of the people commenting haven't read enough poetry in the past few years to have any standards whatsover. That's why the stilted iambic tetrameter of Houseman was brought up by stonestools. And it's not necessarily bad that people who admit they don't read poetry feel so free to offer complaints, criticisms,etc. It just reminds me of people who criticism, say Young Jeezy, having never heard one of his albums nor any other hip hop from the past five years.

All of that is to say that I thought it would be cool to listen in on this conversation about how folks felt about the inaugural poem, but it really has mostly been drivel, and the open football threads have been much better. I hope though, that some of us pick up a poetry book after this.

There was a lot about the inauguration that annoyed me. Most relative to this, I didn't care for Yo-Yo Ma piece. But my knowledge of music, in general, is particularly limited--maybe I would like it if I understood what I was listening to. Maybe I wouldn't. One doesn't have to like Alexander's poem--plenty of informed and knowledgeable people didn't. But rarely have I heard people confessing their ignorance of the entire genre, and then proceeding to judge. It'd be like if someone leaped into one of our NFL threads and said, "I haven't watched football since I was five, don't much like the game, but I think the Steelers suck.": The Jeezy comparison is apt. People do the same thing with hip-hop all the time.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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