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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? **********. **********. ********** (C) Sally Young Eslinger 9/15/20

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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