I recently posted a poem that may be the source of some subsequent discussions on PS rules and what constitutes sexually explicit and/or pornographic material (I don’t want to be too presumptuous). I know there are already a couple other blogs on this topic to which I could have posted, but I want to clarify a few things and my response would be too long on those blogs.
Regarding the poem in question: I have received a handful of comments suggesting that there is nothing wrong with that poem; a couple comments suggesting that I may have gone a little over the top; and, one comment suggesting that it is vile and disgusting pornography. I have not heard anything from Team PS about the poem as yet. Of course, I have no way of knowing how many people started reading it and then moved on, without comment, because they were offended or found the poem unsuitable for this site – I will accept that there may be some of those.
The poem remains up as originally posted – not to take a stand or anything, I will gladly delete or change it if that is what Team PS requests (or even a number of PS members), but just so anyone who is interested can see the poem in its original state to which some had a problem, so you can form your own opinion. Whereas, I do support freedom of speech, the PoetrySoup web site is not where I would take my stand on this topic. I have no problem conforming to the rules of this site and the decisions made by its administrators.
For what it is worth, what bothers me somewhat is the tact taken by the individual who was offended by my poem. That individual left a vulgar comment on the poem and then blogged a rather inflammatory article singling me out by name. There is a question whether or not my poem violated any PS rules – that individual’s reaction, without question, violates a number of the rules. To be fair, the individual (or someone) has since updated the poem comment, removing the vulgarities – and, I do appreciate that.
Had the person with a concern simply reached out to me as an individual, indicating they were uncomfortable with the contents of the poem and concerned for younger readers that may come across it, I would very likely have removed or changed the poem. I know
that that is easy for me to say now, without having been faced with that situation – but, I did post it originally with some hesitation and therefore, am inclined to believe I would have removed it if such a public attack on it and me was not the first tact taken.
Again – I am not trying to take a stand or make a point with this poem or in keeping it posted. I wish to make a point however, that there may have been a more civil way to
share one’s displeasure with the poem that could have avoided such controversy
in the first place. Ironically enough, the individual’s actions, rather than keeping this “pornography” from being read, has resulted in 4 times the amount of views to this poem than my normal postings get. For that, maybe I should be thanking them.
I do not feel like I am in a fight with this individual or anyone else. I hope we can amicably resolve this issue, have the controversy play out and go away, and continue to be a nice, happy family here on PS and simply chalk this up as a learning opportunity. I have posted over 800 poems on this site – I guess, sooner or later, I was bound to
offend someone. And, for having done that, I do wish to say, to that and any other offended readers, I am sorry that my poem may have caused you some discomfort.
If you made it to the end of this long-winded blog, thanks for hearing me out.