“The Pleasures of Hating” Laure-Anne Bosselaar

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How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

In a world with so much to hate, why not turn it into a cash crop? Why not have some fun with it?

Why not hate the trivial, for instance? Or the ridiculous? Or the usually-overlooked-when-we-think-of-hating, maybe?

I guess these questions went through the mind of Laure-Anne Bosselaar when she penned a poem called “The Pleasures of Hating.” For starters, the title grabs even the most distracted reader by the lapel and reels him in.

Hating? I majored in that at university, the reader confesses! Graduated summa cum laude, which is Latin for “to the point of showing off.”

So why not start with Mozart? Everyone hates Mozart, right? Eine Kleine Nacht-Hatred. And what about broccoli? Chain saws? Surely patchouli!

And so it goes, till you, the reader, are in on the joke and wishing you, too, could make a ridiculous list to hate. (I would, but I hate lists.)

But enough. Let’s take Bosselaar’s pleasure ride down the River Stynxs:


The Pleasures of Hating
Laure-Anne Bosselaar

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.


I suppose the greatest pleasure of all might come in the last line, the way Bosselaar sneaks in a rabbit punch for love, because no matter how boundless your hatred seems to be, it still leaves an entire sea of love by way of contrast.

Just stay away from the nightly news, OK?