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September 2nd, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 278,932 comments.
Analysis and comments on The Colonel by Carolyn Forché

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Comment 6 of 46, added on March 8th, 2012 at 8:42 AM.
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DyHCb5 Im thankful for the article post.Really looking forward to read
more. Great.

Discount OEM Software from Kazakhstan
Comment 5 of 46, added on April 10th, 2008 at 4:08 AM.

It's in there, full blown. I'm looking at the original book from '81 right
now.

Gitter from United States
Comment 4 of 46, added on October 7th, 2005 at 3:58 PM.

the "fuck" was never in the poem to begin with--forche did the dashes
herself. which is an interesting move, in and of itself.


sam cha
Comment 3 of 46, added on October 2nd, 2005 at 10:11 AM.

Thanks for posting Forch&eaccute;'s poem here--it's good to see her poems
passed around!

Only one criticism I have, and that's about the editing out of the word
"fuck" in line 28 of the poem. It may seem small, but its censorship brings
up two important issues regarding art and the dissemination of it.

First, there is the issue of the preservation of the work of art itself.
Even a small change such as your insertion of three dashes to replace three
letters affects the reading of the poem: did the author intentionally
censor the "obscenity" and leave in the more obscene description of the
ears and all of its implications? What effect does that have on the poem?
Or did she put in the full word, only to have it redacted by a later
editor? Or...? You begin to see my point. Having never read the poem
before, would I have thought to make sure the version you published on your
site was the original? It was only a fortunate thought that brought it to
mind on my part; others might not have the same good chance.

Second is the issue of priority of values. Why is it more
offensive/dangerous to publish the work "fuck" than to discuss the whole
idea of governing by force, cutting off ears of dissenters, etc.? After
all, "fuck" connotes a sexual act, an act of love, care, and pleasure
between individuals. It's act is also an act of reproduction, of furthering
human life. There's no violence in it, no forced sex (that is rape).
Dictatorship, the violent rejoicing of power over weakness, and the implied
and stated atrocities that are a large part of the subject of
Forch&eaccute;'s poem are far more dispicable than a simple word meaning a
natural act of love, pleasure, and reproduction. I realize that some people
are offended by the use of words such as "fuck," but it's not the poet's
job to cater to the audience's whims. By editing the poem thus, you
inadvertently change the nature of the piece--you alter a precisely
balanced piece of art, you censor a word, and you change the reading of it.
You also effectively say that the violent subject of the work is acceptable
but a mere word for sex isn't.

David Clark from United States
Comment 2 of 46, added on March 29th, 2005 at 4:47 AM.

Noted, and I have edited these poems to correctly show Carolyn Forché as
the author. Thanks for letting me know, and making the site better!

Gunnar Bengtsson from Sweden
Comment 1 of 46, added on March 28th, 2005 at 4:39 PM.

Erm... I am reasonably certain that the poem "The Colonel" was not written
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but was instead the work of Carolyn Forché. In
fact, you have a number of her works wrongly credited under Mr.
Ferlinghetti's biography.

Cameron Willis from Canada

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about The Colonel

Poet: Carolyn Forché
Poem: The Colonel
Volume: The Country Between Us
Year: 1978
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 12842 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 7 2009


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