Poem by Gregory Corso

I Am 25 by Gregory Corso

With a love a madness for Shelley
Chatterton Rimbaud
and the needy-yap of my youth
has gone from ear to ear:
I HATE OLD POETMEN!
Especially old poetmen who retract
who consult other old poetmen
who speak their youth in whispers,
saying:–I did those then
but that was then
that was then–
O I would quiet old men
say to them:–I am your friend
what you once were, thru me
you’ll be again–
Then at night in the confidence of their homes
rip out their apology-tongues
and steal their poems.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m “ageist.” It’s more about the spirit of the “old at heart” poets and writers.

I wanted to post this poem by Gregory Corso, a beat poet, because I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom of expression and that youthful spirit of writing which I mentioned in a previous post. The beat poets of the 50s and 60s definitely had it, and I think many poets today still do.

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3 thoughts on “Poem by Gregory Corso

  1. Love this! My favorite old man poems are by Leonard Cohen. The man at the bookshop disagreed with me, and felt like Cohen was complaining too much. But to me, they were even better than his young man poems.

    I lost my own poetry somewhere along the way, because it was wrapped up with being a naive youth. All of that swooning turned into literal prose eventually. But in the beginning, it was my first stab at really being honest.

    • I’ve written lots of naive and youthful poems too, then made very sporadic efforts at verse throughout my twenties. I think the last time I wrote a poem was five years ago but I feel like I may get back into it one day….

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