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ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (CBS, 1959-1963). ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry. Allen Ginsberg. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry. Michael McClure. Jack Kerouac. Gary Snyder. Jack Kerouac’s fictional Gary Snyder: Japhy Ryder in The Dharma Bums.

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ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry


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    1. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    2. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (CBS, 1959-1963) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    3. Allen Ginsberg ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry Michael McClure Jack Kerouac Gary Snyder

    4. Jack Kerouac’s fictional Gary Snyder: Japhy Ryder in The Dharma Bums ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    5. Allen Ginsberg, Howl (1955) I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war, who were expelled from the academies for crazy & ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    6. Allen Ginsberg, Howl (1955) publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull, who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall, who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York, who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, . . . ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    7. Gary Snyder 1930- ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    8. I am setting the Way Back Machine for 1975. A much publicized event at the University of Florida would bring some major figures from the Beat Movement--Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure--to campus to honor the great ecologist (and U of F faculty member) Howard T. Odum. It was a fascinating week. I was teaching U of F's first-ever course on Native American Literature, and Snyder, who had made himself available for classroom visits, came to talk to my students. It was a wonderful 50 minutes, and Snyder struck me, as he had when I first saw him in Saint Cloud, Minnesota three years before, as just about the most fully-actualized human being I had ever met. (I should note that this was my LSD period, and I was attentive to such things.) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    9. Allen Ginsberg Michael McClure ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry Gary Snyder Howard Odum

    10. But the highlight of the week was a poetry reading to be held in a natural amphitheater around a small pond in the heart of the campus. For events such as these, a platform/stage was laid across the water, and Snyder, McClure, and Ginsberg would read from a podium placed upon it to the assembled multitude. A crowd of several hundred filled the outdoor theatre-in-the-round. (A couple of years later I remember hearing Norman Mailer and Hunter Thompson--who pleaded with the crowd to bring him any good drugs they had--read in the same location.) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    11. The reading would have been memorable in its own right (Snyder is the greatest reader of his own poetry I have ever heard in person)--even without the heckler. Wandering through the audience a very, very drunk guy in his twenties continued to harangue the poets on the pond. It seemed he wanted to be included on the program--wanted to read his poetry. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    12. Finally, Snyder, who was acting as MC for the evening, took the mike and, in an effort to quiet the heckler (where was security?) offered to let him read one poem if that would shut him up. He accepted the offer and made an anything-but-straight-line for the stage over the pond. The aspiring poet took the podium and pulled a large manuscript of his poetry out of his backpack (the size of the tome brought a moan from the audience) and threw it on podium. As he announced to the hostile crowd "I want to read you my first poem, "Getting a B*#@ J%*," he leaned forward, seeking to steady himself, on the podium, and it tumbled, the manuscript with it, into the pond. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    13. With barely a moment's hesitation, Gary Snyder, in what seems now over thirty years later a surreal moment, leaped down into the shallow pond and retrieved the manuscript. Soon after security arrived and hauled the drunk off, and the reading commenced without further incident. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    14. “The Pagan Poet” “seeks to contact in a very special way an 'other' that was not within the human sphere, something that could not only be learned by venturing outside the orders and going into your own mind-wilderness . . ." (The Old Ways 36-37) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    15. From ”Long Hair” Once every year, the Deer catch human beings. They do various things which irresistibly draw men near them: each one selects a certain man. The deer shoots the man, who is then compelled to skin it and carry its meat home and eat it. Then the Deer is inside the man. He waits and hides in there. But the man doesn't know it. When enough Deer have occupied enough men, they will strike all at once. The men who don't have Deer in them will also be taken by surprise, and everything will change some. This is called "takeover from inside.” a prose poem ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    16. Why Log Truck Drivers Rise Earlier Than Students of Zen In the high seat, before-dawn dark, Polished hubs gleam And the shiny diesel stack Warms and flutters Up the Tyler Road grade To the logging on Poorman creek. Thirty miles of dust. There is no other life. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    17. Changing Diapers How intelligent he looks! on his back both feet caught in my one hand his glance set sideways on a piant poster of Geronimo with a Sharp’s repeating rifle by his knee. I open, wipe, he doesn’t even notice nor do I. Baby legs and knees toes like little peas little wrinkles, good-to-eat, eyes bright, shiny ears, chest swelling, drawing air, No trouble, friend, you and me and Geronimo are men. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    18. Song of the Taste Eating the living germs of grasses Eating the ova of large birds the fleshy sweetness packed around the sperm of swaying trees The muscles of the flanks and thighs of soft-voiced cows the bounce in the lamb’s leap the swish in the ox’s tail Eating roots grown swoll inside the soil Drawing on life of living clustered points of light spun out of space hidden in the grape. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    19. Song of the Taste Eating each other’s seed eating ah, each other. Kissing the lover in the mouth of bread: lip to lip. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    20. By Frazier Creek Falls Standing up on lifted, folded rock looking out and down-- The creek falls to a far valley, hills beyond that facing, half-forested, dry --clear sky strong wind in the stiff glittering needle clusters of the pine--their brown round trunk bodies straight, still; rustling trembling limbs and twigs listen.  ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    21. By Frazier Creek Falls This flowing land is all there is, forever We are it it sings through us-- We could live on this Earth without clothes or tools! ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    22. I Went Into the Maverick Bar I went into the Maverick Bar In Farmington, New Mexico. And drank double shots of bourbon backed with beer. My long hair was tucked up under a cap I'd left the earring in the car. Two cowboys did horseplay by the pool tables, A waitress asked us where are you from? a country-and-western band began to play "We don't smoke Marijuana in Muskokie" And with the next song, a couple began to dance. Merle Haggard ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    23. I Went Into the Maverick Bar They held each other like in High School dances in the fifties: I recalled when I worked in the woods and the bars of Madras, Oregon That short-haired joy and roughness-- America--your stupidity I could almost love you again. We left-onto the freeway shoulders under the tough old stars-- In the shadow of bluffs I came back to myself, To the real work, to "What is to be done." ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    24. Prayer for the Great Family Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day- and to her soil: rich, rare, and sweet in our minds so be it. Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing light-changing leaf and fine root-hairs; standing still through wind and rain; their dance is in the now in our minds, so be it. Gratitude to Air, bearing the roaring Swift and the silent Owl at dawn. Breath of our song clear spirit breeze in our minds, so be it. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    25. Prayer for the Great Family Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers, teaching secrets, freedoms, and ways; who share with us their milk; self-complete, brave, and aware in our minds, so be it. Gratitude to Water: clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers; holding or releasing; streaming through all our bodies salty seas in our minds, so be it. Gratitude to the Sun: blinding pulsing light through trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where bears and snakes sleep--he who wakes us-- in our minds so be it ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    26. Prayer for the Great Family Gratitude to the Great Sky who holds billions of stars--and goes yet beyond that-- beyond all powers, and thoughts and yet is within us-- Grandfather Space. The Mind is his Wife. so be it. after a Mohawk prayer ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    27. How Poetry Comes to Me It comes blundering over the Boulders at night, it stays Frightened outside the Range of my campfire I go to meet it at the Edge of the light ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

    28. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry What You Should Know to be a Poet all you can know about animals as persons.the names of trees and flowers and weeds.the names of stars and the movements of planetsand the moon. your own six senses, with a watchful elegant mind. at least one kind of traditional magic:divination, astrology, the book of changes, the tarot; dreams.the illusory demons and the illusory shining gods. kiss the ass of the devil and eat sh*t;f@#k his horny barbed cock,f@#k the hag,and all the celestial angelsand maidens perfum’d and golden--

    29. What You Should Know to be a Poet & then love the human: wives husbands and friends children’s games, comic books, bubble-gum,the weirdness of television and advertising. work long, dry hours of dull work swallowed and acceptedand lived with and finally lovd. exhaustion, hunger, rest. the wild freedom of the dance, extasysilent solitary illumination, entasy real danger. gambles and the edge of death.