After reading the comments on Shannon’s piece, I went into class. Today we talked of Ginsberg & Howl. I could teach the power of his incantatory lines, his use of repetition, ways he took what Whitman had discovered & made it his own; but, then, I found myself unable to speak. Shannon’s piece, the comments, Cho, so many memories – I just didn’t feel like letting these words lie on the page. I talked for a moment about America in those years and about this romanticism, this belief society was fallen but man wasn’t. These beliefs were not always true, not even useful. Sometimes we’re not noble savages thwarted by a society that sacrifices us to Moloch – sometimes we’re just nuts and need help. And then we turned to Bishop, whose life, too, had plenty of tragedies and whose inclinations, too, were not conventional; still she created a world that better helps us understand and even appreciate our own.
One of Those Things We Forget About the 50’s & 60’s