By Andrei Codrescu
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CM. 5408DC20 96-2033 CIP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES Page v Note & Acknowledgment Most of the work herein was written in response to the title of this book. These are original poems, published here by permission of and copyrighted by their authors. A few poets felt that some of their earlier poems addressed the subject adequately: they are reprinted here by permission of the authors. The places where these poems first appeared are acknowledged below their poems. We are deeply grateful to the more than one hundred poets who heeded our melancholy yet hopeful call.
And Anne Waldman finds that she ". . forgot/ I forgot something/ Page x amnesia of holocaust/ amnesia for war & war & more war . " She has forgotten precisely that which is unforgettable. What we would like to forget, if only it were possible. None of these culprits, to be sure, stand shelled for long. The more abominably obvious sins of America are not so much excoriated as noted in their complex interplay with the poet. It is Allen Ginsberg who most completely identifies himself with his time and place.
Byron, Keats and Shelley liars! Marx and Freud and Einstein lugnerin! Flaubert a liar! Gilbert and Sullivan liars! Sarah Bernhardt a phoney! Sartre and Beauvoir and Camus liars! Charlie Chaplin and Diaghilev liars! Socrates big liar! only Himmler! only Dzerzhinsky! Auschwitz told the truth! Warsaw Ghetto the truth! Dachau the truth! The Quai at Smyrna the truth! The Trail of Tears the truth! Wallabout Bay the truth! Dresden the truth! El Mozote truth! Gulag the truth! Are those who slaughter the innocents From mere cowardice or inertia To be ranked above the slaughterers Who kill from rage and hatred?
American poets say goodbye to the 20th century by Andrei Codrescu