David Williams notices that Anne Carson "completely misread" an entry from The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots when making an etymological link in a recent poem.
If a poem made a similarly misinformed claim about, say, basic math, we might be disposed to reject it as incoherent. I’d be willing to bet though that most readers of Carson’s poem either accept the etymological claim, or pass over it unbothered, preferring to focus on the conceptual connections it creates from within the protective shell of poetic licence. Yet should not a poem, being a thing made of concepts and language, and here addressing the relationships between concepts and language over time, be faithful to the disciplinary account of those relationships, especially if it invokes the discipline as an authority? If not, is it distinguishable from bullshit, in the Frankfurtian sense?