(poetry diary 22) I’ve recently been feeling annoyed over this news article:
According to the dictionary, “literally” now also means “figuratively” – Dana Coleman –Salon – August 22, 2016
So for bemusement I went looking for poems about the word “literally.” I didn’t find any that hit me, but I was amused to find an article about a man who took one of Seamus Heaney’s poems too literally….
In 2010 a man obsessed with telling the world about the horrors of bullfighting travelled through two days of rain to protest one of Heaney’s readings.
Heaney once wrote a poem, “Tate’s Avenue,” which mentioned the sport. He also once compared W.H. Auden to a bullfighter. The protester found these things upsetting.
A statement from Heaney said: “I do not support bullfighting and anyone who draws such an inference from my writing is totally mistaken.”
The danger of taking poetry too literally – Richard Alleyne – The Telegraph – August 30, 2010
Spread on sand by the sea but breathing land-breaths,
Its vestal folds unfolded, its comfort zone
Edged with a fringe of sepia-coloured wool tails.