Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some of the best works I've never written

You will have probably heard about the latest poetry plagiarism scandal, or possibly poetry hoax, poetry homage, or poetry parody, depending on how you look at it. Andrew Slattery, who I had never heard about before, er, hearing about him, is possibly a very good poet, maybe a very bad poet, or just maybe not even a poet at all, depending on how you interpret the poetry he has written, and who he took it from before he wrote it, and why he took it from there in the first place.

How do you tell the difference between poetic plagiarism, poetic parody, poetic hoax, and poetic homage anyway? Plagiarism involves taking the words of another person without permission, while on the other hand parody involves taking the words of another person without permission. Hoax involves you inventing new words and trying to pass those words off as those of another person without their permission, or is that parody I'm talking about again? (And sometimes, instead of just inventing words for another person and giving it to them without permission, you invent a personality for another person and give it to them without permission, too, which seems to be going a bit far.) And homage, well, as far as I can work out, you still take the words of another person without permission, but you do it with love. And is it possible to do a homage to plagiarist, or to plagiarise a parody of a hoax of a homage? What would the result look like?

It occurred to me a few days ago, thinking over all this, that there might be room for a new genre of poetry here: poetry for plagiarism. Or has someone else thought of that already? Even better.

And that's about all I (or possibly someone else, though if so they haven't told me yet) have to say on this matter.

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