[T]hough not all of the forty-three poems discussed in this volume are among the “world’s best,” the reader is confident that they really are Paglia’s favorites, and grateful that she is generally lucid, diligent, and entertaining in justifying her taste. She doesn’t call the lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” an “important modern poem” just to shoehorn an extra woman into the canon and rankle the Great Books set. She is agenda-free. For good or ill, she means it.
"Sincere" -- it seems like such an unPagliaesque aspiration.
Speaking of sincere, how sincere was Joni Mitchell in "Woodstock"? She didn't attend, and, in fact, she played at the Atlantic City Pop Festival, a few weeks before, and walked off in the middle of her set, after ranting at the audience for failing to pay rapt attention to her. We were milling around, dancing and talking, and acting like a big bunch of hippies. She did not like it one bit. She steered way clear of Woodstock, then wrote a song idealizing it.
"Then can I walk beside you?" she wrote, but the fact is, she didn't want to be anywhere near these people.