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(1942 / London)

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33 Lines for Ginsberg

Beatiest of beats let me address you
as you America. Let me bless you
charleychaplin poet that you are
like Ferlinghetti spreadeagled in air
like Sandberg in Chicago like Burroughs AWOL
as you build up your argument to howl
at the barriers and choices in all existence
your words' steam engines go the distance
freshness and fury and spirit all churned
together till somehow they have learned
to answer back as good as you get.
No one has shouted down America yet
and made America listen and pause.
You move inexorably clause by clause
explain to America where to get off
with a smile and a laff and a wave and a cough
as you smell the world 's most exciting flower.
I'd rather think of you in Morden Tower.
I like to think of you reading there
with your beat poet friends in the city where
I was trying so hard for the ordinary life,
not to be a poet and not to write,
(and about the same time in London town
Denise Levertov wandered around)
what, not be a poet, what a waste of breath,
what a crime, what a sin, what a loss, what a death
and whatever my country its state or time,
Ginsberg you gave me permission to rhyme,
for politics, passion came down to this,
the word was the sword, just word with an s,
a reason to dance and a mandate to sing,
a line to scribble and a truth to bring,
to throw your mantle over everything

Submitted: Saturday, June 11, 2011
Edited: Friday, December 02, 2011


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Comments about this poem (Basil's Land [Basil Bunting] by Sally Evans )

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  • Charlotte Gunther (12/26/2013 7:21:00 PM)

    i like this- the poet is thinking out loud about the craft of poetry

    0 person liked.
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  • Steve Batty (12/25/2013 5:55:00 AM)

    I was reading a selection of writers on Why I Write, then saw your poem:

    the word was the sword, just word with an s,
    a reason to dance and a mandate to sing,
    a line to scribble and a truth to bring,
    to throw your mantle over everything

    Says it all, great poem, love it.

  • Eleonora Woods (12/25/2013 12:50:00 AM)

    My God, this is a lovely lively dance to read. Thanx!

  • Patricia Saunders (12/24/2013 10:55:00 AM)

    Wonderful, Sally, simply wonderful. I held my breath as I raced through this poem on first reading, then read it again, slowly, savoring every word.

  • * Sunprincess * (12/24/2013 7:00:00 AM)

    congratulations for poem of the day...I like these lines very much...

    ~No one has shouted down America yet
    and made America listen and pause.~

  • Leslie Philibert (12/24/2013 5:33:00 AM)

    Like this, a poem of quality

  • A.j. Binash (12/24/2012 7:37:00 PM)

    A fitting tribute! I can see Ginsberg smiling as he reads this.

  • Gillian Commerford (12/24/2012 3:22:00 PM)

    Very good.I think I like you better than Ginsberg

  • Ray Quesada (12/24/2012 2:54:00 AM)

    utter brilliance - i can totally tell you read the F#$K out of some Ginsberg! ! ! :) :) :) seriously this is really good, and I like to think I am a pretty good critic of poetry] ]]]]]]]]

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