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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Ulysses (Tennyson)

this is an audio post - click to play

I was first introduced to Tennyson's Ulysses about 15 years ago by a strange man from out around Pisquid Pond, P.E.I. "Lot of duckhunting at Pisquid Pond," he used to tell me. "Blinds and blinds full of blind inbreds," he'd say, "pointing their guns up, mostly."

He loved the poem. Not long after showing it to me, he told me a story about once feeling something sharp pressing through the skin of his forehead. He went to the doctor, said, "Doc! Doc! Feel this. Touch my forehead! What the hell is that? Am I growing horns?"

Well, he wasn't growing horns. He'd been in a car accident ten years before, thrown through the windshield. Face and head were all cut up. What was pushing through the skin of his forehead was the last of the glass from that accident, finally coming out on its own.

He killed himself about five years ago. I never heard why. I guess not everything that gets under the skin comes out cleanly as that windshield glass. This reading of Ulysses is dedicated to the memory of Kenny Grant.

3 comments:

maryanne said...

John, thank you for reading poems aloud. It is such a treat to hear them recited with feeling. I remember having to memorize poems in school up to grade 12. I suppose people might think today that was a waste of educational time, but it was wonderful. Anyhow keep posting them! (If you like WH Auden, I'd love to hear some)

MackJohnny said...

I do like Auden. I'll get to something of his eventually.

ghislaine said...

"not everything that gets under the skin comes out as cleanly as that windsheild glass". thanks for that, johnny.