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The Poets

April 03, 2011

Hello, Corso

Gregory Nunzio Corso (1930 – 2001)

About a week back it was the birth date of
Gregory Corso, one of the original founders (and the youngest) of the Beat poets.

Over the months I’ve come to know a great deal about this movement and its members. They were poets that arose shortly after World War II, poets that rejected social norms and conventions along with the poetic forms that were spawned by these.

My favorite among them would have to be Denise Levertov and LeRoi Jones (otherwise known as Amiri Baraka). Notwithstanding, I appreciate Corso and have enjoyed several of his works. I commend the man as a poet, and thank him and his generation for their contribution to the world and history of poetry.

Corso, as many of the Beats were, was heavily influenced by Romanticism, Surrealism, and- naturally- Modernism in poetry. There was a deep seated desire with these poets to also study eastern religious ideologies (indeed, many of the Beats claimed to be Buddhists- especially Ginsberg and Snyder).

Corso himself was influenced by Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Chatterton, and Percy Bysshe Shelley (in particular by Shelley's, A Defence of Poetry).

The first poem written by Corso that impressed me is called, Hello.

Hello

It is disastrous to be a wounded deer.
I'm the most wounded, wolves stalk,
and I have my failures, too.
My flesh is caught on the Inevitable Hook!
As a child I saw many things I did not want to be.
Am I the person I did not want to be?
That talks-to-himself person?
That neighbors-make-fun-of person?
Am I he who, on museum steps, sleeps on his side?
Do I wear the cloth of a man who has failed?
Am I the looney man?
I the great serenade of things,
am I the most cancelled passage?

As of April 9th, 2010