I was in a play freshman year in high school. I don't remember the name of the play, or even what it was about. All I remember is that it had several beatnik characters, and a poetry reading scene set in a coffee house. (Cut me some slack, Daddy-o! 1969 was, like, forever ago. You can't expect me to remember every little thing.)
There was one line from that play I'll never forget. It was uttered by my friend Lynne's sister Gloria. She was a junior, and had an actual speaking part. After a coffee house reading by one of the Beat poet actors, she said, "Dig that iambic pentameter!" The beatniks in the scene (of which I was one) snapped their fingers in response. It was, like, crazy, man!
I haven't thought of that play in years. This week, I can't stop thinking about it. Damn you, William Shatner! It's all your fault. The only way to claw these images from my mind is to howl. (My apologies to Allen Ginsberg.)
My offering for this Poetry Friday is Howl by Allen Ginsberg. Click over to experience this poem as it was meant to be experienced. I know. I know. This version has been slightly edited. Click here to read the complete (I believe) poem. The performance, however, by Ginsberg and John Turturro is, like, outstanding, man. Snap your fingers if you agree.
Poetry Friday is being hosted by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children.