Poem was misread
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Regarding Robert Park's Feb. 16 letter "Racist, Sexist Poem": Mr. Park misreads Walt Peterson's poem "Learn to Speak Chinese" (Feb. 9) by confusing the speaker of the poem with the author of the poem. The poem is not about the waitress; it is about this "persona" who fantasizes about her. He is a comic character because of his inappropriate attitudes and behavior.
An apt comparison would be to Archie Bunker of the classic television series "All in the Family." Archie's frequently expressed racist and homophobic views are not to be attributed to his creators. He is a comic figure, a clueless man in a changing world.
I would refer Mr. Park back to the Shakespeare comedies or their Chinese equivalent for further elucidation.
The writer is with the Pittsburgh Poetry Exchange.
First Published February 28, 2013 12:00 am