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The controversial poem titled “avenidas” can be translated as following: “Avenues / Avenues and flowers / Flowers / Flowers and women / Avenues / Avenues and women / Avenues and flowers and women and an admirer.”

… The Berlin college Alice Salomon Hochschule … painted [the poem] in large lettering on the south facade of the college …

… In April 2016, the general student committee (AStA) wrote an open letter to the rectorate of the college, criticizing the prominent position of the poem.

“A man who looks out into the streets and admires flowers and women,” wrote the students. “This poem not only reproduces a classic patriarchal art tradition in which women are exclusively the beautiful muses that inspire masculine artists to creative acts, it is also reminiscent of sexual harassment, which women are exposed to every day.”

The controversial lines will soon be painted over.


One German observer argues that a school which cannot recognize how a lyric poem works “should cease to award a poetry prize.”

UD agrees. You have to think prophylactically. The chance of any future poem chosen for the prize being a species of sexual harassment is very high. Better avoid the problem altogether.

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5 Responses to “Another Victory for the Anti-Sex League”

  1. David Foster Says:

    Parts of our current society are becoming far more ‘Victorian’ than the actual Queen Victoria (who apparently actually liked sex, very much…it was pregnancy that she didn’t enjoy at all)

  2. Keith (U of M, Ph.D.,1972) Says:

    Who sez the admirer was male? Or human for that matter?

  3. john Says:

    have we really come to this?

  4. dmf Says:


  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dmf: I’m following that story – haven’t yet come up with a cruel and clever enough title, etc. Will probably blog on it today.

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