Reading Danielle Chapman's review of The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries ("Bad Habits," January 2005) and the response of the anthology's editor, Reginald Shepherd ("Letters," April 2005), especially their discussion of the role of post-modern philosophy in the anthology, I was reminded once again of Nietzsche's comment that the owl of philosophy always appears after history. After obtaining an MFA, I spent six years at the University of Michigan writing a dissertation on Walt Whitman, where mastering and employing "theory" was not an option but a requirement of the reigning intellectual hegemony. Luckily I survived it. Much of the theory we were taught has already been discarded for newer intellectual fashions. Poets once claimed the ground of the avant-garde; I never know whether to laugh or moan when I see so many chasing the coattails of current fashions in theory, which are changed faster than the emperor changes his clothes.