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< Wrapping it all up | Main | Roberto Plano's toy Piano >



The Poet who Hates Mozart

Posted at 8:56 PM on June 15, 2009 by Fred Child (9 Comments)

Her name is Laure-Anne Bosselaar, and I hope I say her name right on the radio...not because I want to be correct, but because she'll be listening and has a degree in elocution. (Check out her remarkable bio.)


The Pleasures of Hating

I hate Mozart. Hate him with that healthy
pleasure one feels when exasperation has

crescendoed, when lungs, heart, throat,
and voice explode at once: I hate that! -

there's bliss in this, rapture. My shrink
tried to disabuse me, convinced I use Amadeus

as a prop: Think further, your father perhaps?
I won't go back, think of the shrink

with a powdered wig, pinched lips, mole:
a transference, he'd say, a relapse: so be it.

I hate broccoli, chain saws, patchouli, bra-
clasps that draw dents in your back, roadblocks,

men in black kneesocks, sandals and shorts-
I love hating that. Loathe stickers on tomatoes,

jerky, deconstruction, nazis, doilies. I delight
in detesting. And love loving so much after that.

(Laure-Anne Bosselaar, "The Pleasures of Hating" from Small Gods of Grief. Copyright © 2001 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Used by permission of the poet and BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.)


Laure-Anne Bosselaar joins us on PT on Tuesday the 16th to read "The Pleasures of Hating"...and it's an evocative, rhythmic, churning read, you gotta hear it! I'll post a link to the audio as soon as I get my hands on it.

Very curious to hear if there's music you love to hate? Leave a comment.

More poems by Laure-Anne Bosselaar here. Interview with her here.


Comments ( 9 )


What a wonderful poem. I LIKE this woman. Must read more of her poetry. Thank you for introducing me to her via Performance Today, it made my day! Janie Bowe

Posted by Janie | June 16, 2009 9:32 AM


You "hate" Mozart. What emotion, then, can be employed for war, torture, slavery or destruction of life? The author is using the mantra of hate to create a stage and bring attention to her crinkled brow.....and on that thought, I strongly dislike Gerschwin's circuitous musical paths that lead to nowhere.

Posted by John Charlton | June 16, 2009 9:39 AM


I hate that poem so much that I sort of like it.

Posted by John Charlton | June 16, 2009 9:46 AM


I used to hate Mozart ten years ago for about the same reasons: I found his music repetitive, predictable, formulaic, and his operas sooo long... BUT now I LOVE Mozart and at any given moment I have 3 or 4 of his works in my iPod. I feel overwhelmed by and grateful for his genius.

The poem is great. Who doesn't have his share of things that he loves to hate! Right now, I love to hate the words "glamorous" and "diva," which pop up in television all the time and don't mean anything anymore.

Lester

Posted by Lester | June 16, 2009 10:38 AM


I am a thirteen-year-old violinist. I dislike Mozart for precisely the same reasons though until now, I couldn't quite put in to words why I dislike his music. I much prefer Bach and Vivaldi.

Posted by Aubrie | June 16, 2009 7:52 PM


What can one say about a person who hates NAZIs and tomatoes with labels in the same breath? (Isn't that interesting?) The poem was distracting enough that it detracted from the Beethoven 5th that followed.

While definitely not hating PT, I do wonder about a host who gives so much time to such a silly "poet."

Posted by MICHAEL BIERI | June 16, 2009 9:15 PM


The juxtaposition of nazis and tomato labels is the biggest laugh line in the poem. If you missed that silly joke I wonder if you've caught any of the romping silliness in Mozart.

A poet plays with language the same way a musician plays with a note. A C# can close a symphony or be a throwaway in an arpegiatto.

Love it or hate it, we rightfully use the words "love" and "hate" in widely different contexts. Maybe you could understand the concept conversely: list the spectrum of the things you love. Here's mine:
1. "Boil the Ocean" Blog
2. My reserved parking spot at work
3. Jasmine tree in my yard
4. Ripe avocados and peaches, Samuel Smith beer, smoking my own pork & briskets
5. Working & playing outdoors, friends
6. My mother & wife & sister & child

Posted by Rocuronium | June 17, 2009 11:53 AM


I admit it: I love to detest the work of Astor Piazzola. He is now the most over-exposed over-played composer I can think of. Reminds me of the days when one used to hear Carmina Burana at least once a week if not more...recordings can lead to overkill so easily.

And I love the poem!

Posted by Judy | June 18, 2009 5:50 PM


Anyone who enjoyed this poem, or the general premise of it, may also be interested in its "conceptal predessesors", I list two of them here:
An essay entitled "Hateful Things" by Sei Shonagon (a prominent writer from Japan's Heian era), as well as William Hazlitt's "On the Pleasure of Hating".
Both of these pieces can be found in the book "The Art of the Personal Essay", edited by Phillip Lopate, a really wonderful anthology.


Posted by Leslie | June 21, 2009 1:50 PM

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