Ginsberg Writes the F Word
Ginsberg Writes the F- WORD
FALLEN GINSBERG COINS “” INTO POETRY,
Our college creative-writing professor
Announced in 1972, to our class of hippie poets,
Like me, who didn’t quite see
The big deal, because we were establishing
That outrage into every sentence of all
Conversations spoken across the world;
That (I hadn’t even known) it was banned from
Our house, until one night in high school
When father shouted it and mother screamed
Upon hearing that word of emphasis, which had so
Become a habit in anger, chosen for impact. A word
Endorsed by “The Generation of Love.” No kidding?
Am I saying it hadn’t been used in poetry before? Not even by Dante, at the gates of hell
Facing Cerberus in torrents of rain?
Or, could the eloquent Pindar have written:
“The fierce and biting tooth of slanderous
Words from old have I seen.
Sharp- tongued Archilochus in
want plus struggling,
Grown ing fat on the harsh words of hate...”
Surely, an accentuating adjective that
He might have used...Cannot the passion
Of the lyric expand vocabulary
In usage to top bored, habitual speech?
Critics were thrilled by the controversy of Ginsberg,
As it gave poetry a pass into the topical.
But we young poets were seated in delay, left
Wondering again and again not about words,
But about the values and missions
Of just what was going to be coming within
The realm of a new world
That seemed was at our feet.
...Though now we ask, Oh, ! What happened?
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(C) Sally Young Eslinger 9/15/20
Copyright © Sally Eslinger | Year Posted 2020
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