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Connecticut teacher fired for reading Allen Ginsberg poem students can borrow from the school library

by | 7th, June 2015

3rd July 1973:  American poet Allen Ginsberg (1926 - 1997) with Anglo-American poet and playwright W H Auden (1907 - 1973).  (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

 

Censorshsip is on the rise in the US. The ‘you can’t say that’ culture is undermining free speech and free thinking. National Coalition Against Censorship has news: “During an AP class discussion about gratuitous language, a student asked a teacher to read an Allen Ginsberg poem. He did. He’s not a teacher anymore.”

David Olio was sacked for reading a poem? Really?

In February two students complained about an Allen Ginsberg poem that, at the request of a fellow student, was shared in Olio’s AP English class at South Windsor High School in Connecticut. A media uproar followed, and Olio was essentially forced to resign.

These tender-minded pupils are age 17 and 18. In Connecticut you can marry at 18 16 with judicial & parental consent. Gay marriage is legal so long as the couple are 18 or older (if under 18 a person can marry with the approval of a parent, guardian or district judge).

Most of the facts do not appear to be in dispute – and are more nuanced than the ‘students forced to read shocking homoerotic poem’ media narrative. The overriding question is whether a celebrated teacher with nearly two decades of experience should be forced from the classroom for a single decision – even if one views that decision as a lapse in judgment.

During a class discussion of gratuitous language, a student raised questions about the Ginsberg poem, “Please Master.” The piece was undoubtedly relevant to the discussion; it is also an exceptionally graphic account of a sexual encounter between two men.

So it is not shocking that the story quickly became fodder for local media. “South Windsor Teacher Reads Graphic Poem About Gay Sex to Classroom” read one headline, with the story saying students were “subjected” to the poem. A TV newscast warned viewers the piece was “too graphic to detail in almost any part,” and bizarrely noted that the local police were not involved in the investigation.

Ginsberg wrote Please Sir when he was 42. Young adults are advised to look away now:

Please Master

Please master can I touch your cheeck
please master can I kneel at your feet
please master can I loosen your blue pants
please master can I gaze at your golden haired belly
please master can I have your thighs bare to my eyes
please master can I take off my clothes below your chair
please master can I can I kiss your ankles and soul
please master can I touch lips to your hard muscle hairless thigh
please master can I lay my ear pressed to your stomach
please master can I wrap my arms around your white ass
please master can I lick your groin gurled with blond soft fur
please master can I touch my tongue to your rosy asshole
please master may I pass my face to your balls,
please master order me down on the floor,
please master tell me to lick your thick shaft
please master put your rough hands on my bald hairy skull
please master press my mouth to your prick-heart
please master press my face into your belly, pull me slowly strong thumbed
till your

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Posted: 7th, June 2015 | In: Books, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink