Take A Haik(u)!

The sheep might not be very
good at poetry, but the border
collie is going to be the next
William Wordsworth.
I read David Whetstone's article on The Journal about artist Valerie Laws and the sheep poetry/haiku projects over a week ago and I am still bothered by it. I think it's because I never thought I would have to add to my definition of poetry "Must be created by a sentient being." In my lexicon, this is not poetry; it's performance art. And possibly animal abuse. The idea of using animals as canvases is more than a little offensive to me. Although, I wonder what Banksy would do if he worked on a sheep instead of a building wall. And there's this sentence, a quote by Laws: "It appears she has been commissioned to do a project which is almost identical to mine, although not as skilled."


Granted that poetry is a highly fluid and experimental form of literature, leaving the content of the "poem" up to wandering ungulates is not writing. Instead, getting anything coherent from this would probably be like waiting for those monkeys to bang out Shakespeare on their typewriters.

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