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Do you think Allen Ginsberg's poem "Please Master" is appropriate for a high school classroom?

Posted 3 years.

33 Comments

  • Norman Smyth - 3 years ago

    It's difficult to see much literary merit in this poem. It's shock stuff,aided by a touch of "emperors new clothes" syndrome. Because it's Ginsberg it has to be great ? If you don't appreciate it ,that's because you're stupid. Wrong wrong wrong! If you don't realise that reading an explicitly erotic "poem", gay or otherwise,to a class of teenagers is inappropriate ,then THATs because your stupid.

  • Sarah - 3 years ago

    I'm 25 years old and reading this poem, alone, in the comfort of my own home made me extremely uncomfortable. I can only imagine how a high schooler would feel having this read aloud to them by an adult, and a teacher no less. This is not misjudgment by a teacher, this is sexual harassment, and I'm dumbfounded at the fact that any adult, in an authorial position, would find this poem suitable for children, or even educational. There is nothing educational about the poem, it was written for shock value and has no purpose being taught in a high school classroom. While I realize that kids are being exposed to porn earlier and earlier, that exposure should not take place in the classroom. This teacher should absolutely be fired.

  • Anonymous - 3 years ago

    I don't think it's appropriate to read to minors, but aside from that, adults who are exclaiming how disgusted they are of the poem itself -- I hope you people have never and will never engage in oral and anal sex! Otherwise, you are hypocrites and "perverts," too!

  • Sheepdog - 3 years ago

    Comments by Samuel, Rob, and Brent reveal how far the moral fabric in our school system has deteriorated. Not having the ability to understand the severity of the action of David Olio shows a high level of immaturity. My guess is that most of the people who do not think this is a big deal are 20 and younger. Most people I know were not willing to read more than a few lines since they felt so violated and slimed being exposed to it. If David Olio is not fired (should be arrested) the downward spiral of this generation will continue.

  • Samuel Z. - 3 years ago

    I'm a high school student and this poem is not that big of a deal. We've seen this stuff before, it's nothing new. If it was 6th grade, yeah, sure, it's inappropriate but for a high school class? Hell no. It's perfectly fine and those people who were "appalled" are either too sensitive or just attention whores.

  • Mariel Albee - 3 years ago

    As an English teacher, I wanted to read the poem before I passed judgment on whether it should have raised eyebrows. I am always dismayed when people focus on sexual or disturbing content and fail to see the literary merit of a text. However, when I read "Please Master," I wondered at the possibility of anyone finding anything of value in it. It was very disturbing to me that someone would introduce it to their class for any reason. It was gratuitously sexual; the violence and subjugation themes alarming. Does this teacher also use Fifty Shades of Grey to teach symbolism and motif? I can imagine the discomfort of the students listening to the teacher render the poem; I shudder to consider what kind of teacher would be able to do it.

  • rob - 3 years ago

    Big deal. We should stop being so sensitive

  • Brent - 3 years ago

    The original author is a pioneer in american literature and intentionally put things on paper to shock the senses of those who read it. Things that are uncomfortable make people think...it causes people to open their minds and realize there is more to the world than what they have been exposed to. It is literary art and is intended as such...sure, it's offensive, so were the lyrics to NWA's "Fuck the Police" but kids listened to that. It's meant to be offensive, that's the point...

  • Peter Weber - 3 years ago

    If school districts are wondering about the decline in enrollment, they need to look at the wolves pushing their worldview on our children. Many parents either homeschool or send their children to private schools because of this type of assault on students. It is either a verbal or sexual encounter that seems to make the news every now and then. If South Windsor doesn't fire this guy, the exodus from public schools will continue.
    Note: Allen Ginsberg was a member and defender of NAMBLA. Now do you see the connection? Watch for the wolves. Protect our children. Fire this "teacher NOW"

  • Disturbed - 3 years ago

    First let me say I am in now way a prude or a Holy Roller... I guess I am one of the struggling majority who still holds a "moral compass"....But I am incredibly shocked at just how many folks voted that this poem was in ANYWAY appropriate to share with High School students !! That basically graphic gay porn is to be considered suitable literary works to be read to our children in the guise of AP English??? Are you freaking kidding me?!!!!! There are millions of other noteworthy works, written by literary greats, that easily could have taken it's place in his AP class....This teach CLEARLY has some personal issues... It is insanely disturbing to be made aware that there is such a large percentage of our population deranged enough to accept this on any level. Disturbing... really disturbing... Sick.... Lose his job over this? ABSOLUTELY!

  • Albert Jamison - 3 years ago

    Was the poem explicit, yes. Was it a godawful idea to read it to a group of highschoolers, absolutely. Not due to their "innocence" or their being offended, but because its just so graphic. I mean have some standards man! Having read the poem (regrettably) I'd say it's not exactly something he should flat out lose his job for, but it is certainly unacceptable to be read there. Like I say, its not a matter of the content, or even the subject, but it's gratuitousness. I'm aged 23 by the by.

  • Rose - 3 years ago

    Yes, the poem is graphic, and yes, it shocked the parents, but I am almost certain that these kids have heard, read, and seen worse. If this was an AP class, perhaps the teacher assumed that these kids would be ready to be presented with this type of material. I do wonder why the teacher didn’t run the material by the school. Did he show poor judgment? yes, but not so bad as to lose his job over it. It was a literature class, and although the material was explicit, Ginsberg is an author that our kids should learn about. It is true that Ginsberg’s work was banned as was the work of other Beat Generation writers for its content, but it is American literature nonetheless, as is the work of Bukowski, Angelou, or Picoult. Gingsberg and Bukowski are less mainstream, that’s all.

  • Dillon - 3 years ago

    Haha hey! I like this guy. It's just the little goody two shoes christian pricks that say its innapropriate.

  • Ted - 3 years ago

    What upsets me the most is that the teacher didn't show better judgment.

  • kim - 3 years ago

    please high school grammar school and middle school children already know all about that and they're probably already doing it please I remember when I was in grammar school we had a game called hide and go get it the rules of the game was the boys will count and the girls what hide if a boy caught up with a girl she gave them the option pants up or pants down to have sex at this time I could have been no more then six or seven years oldso what you want is worser a poem or actually playing the game hide and go get itI say give it a rest

  • stbo - 3 years ago

    Disgusting! It was uncomfortable for me to read, I couldn't even finish it! I understand it's poetry but not appropriate for children. If it was anyone other than a teacher saying these things to kids it would be borderline pedophilia.

  • Mark-SM - 3 years ago

    Have not read the poem yet.
    I'm 62-yrs. old and have never read a Alan Ginsberg poem.
    From the above few lines, its a short walk off of a short pier.
    Its a shove, and an attack.
    I have known the name of Alan Ginsberg since the early teen years.
    Ban it.

  • Ashley - 3 years ago

    I'm 26 years old and I'm absolutely disgusted by this teacher. This is very graphic and even I found uncomfortable to read. I don't see anything educational in it. It's very inappropriate. My opinion he should be fired, if a grown adult can sit threw and read this with a class of high schoolers without feeling uncomfortable or guiltily they must have a screw loose.

  • Joe - 3 years ago

    Well,, teacher name is David Olio, he actually showed a YouTube video with some naked dude in it while the author recited, and told the class numerous times what happened in that classroom was not to be made public.

  • Mary Jane - 3 years ago

    I thought Teachers were Professionals. When I see evidence like this my whole opinion of public education changes. I am seeing Home Schooling in a new light!

  • Jim T. - 3 years ago

    More evidence of the downfall of public education. This had no redeeming qualities. This Teacher should be fired.

  • Kathy B - 3 years ago

    If I was in high school right now, and I heard this "poem", I'd walk out of the class and happily take a zero!! Like most parents, my mother would have had a natural fit upon hearing that high school students are subjected to this filth! Yes, it's 2015; yes, high school kids are doing this and more; but this is how high school kids are taught demoralization. Get them while they're young, and they'll go on to teach this to the next generation. If my son came home and told me about this "poem", the school would be hearing from me and every other parent with morals. The author of this filth is already getting his reward; firing this teacher who thought this was a good idea should be the least of his worries. IF he brought this "poem" up before the school board, and they thought it was okay, they should be fired as well!

  • suki - 3 years ago

    Can't wait to hear an explanation from the teacher - perhaps there is a hidden educational enlightenment none of us have grasped - but this garbage is hardly poetry so I'm not expecting much. Poor students who had to sit through this!

  • Lisa - 3 years ago

    I am 51 years old and I find this simply disgusting. Call me old school....I would never allow my daughter to be subjected to such trash. I do, however know for a fact that she would have walked out of the room. That is called having morals...which that teacher has none.

  • Izzy - 3 years ago

    The poem "Please Master" is not appropriate for the high school classroom. It is very sexual and graphic, and I think it would make the students feel very uncomfortable, many of them would feel embarrassed, maybe even shocked to hear or to read all of those words. I'm 67 years old, been around the block a few times, definitely not a prude, and this poem was shocking for me to read.
    In my opinion this poem's appeal is to a very limited group of people. I'm sure some people would find this entertaining. However,for me, now that I have read one of Allen Ginsberg's poems, I have no interest in reading anything else the man has ever written.

  • Mariah - 3 years ago

    I don't agree with this poem being read in a classroom, but in all honesty it's not like the kids of this generation don't know or do half the things stated in the poem. I'm a 23 year old in college and I laughed at the poem only because everybody is going a little over board. Don't get me wrong it's very graphic and not something i would want to read in class, but hey that's 2015 for you. Smh

  • nicole - 3 years ago

    That poem needs to be deleted in all text! AWFUL, I feel awful for the kids that heard it.

  • l a - 3 years ago

    Disgusting! Nothing more than gay porn. Nothing at all that would be appropriate for school lessons! This perv should be fired immediately!

  • david - 3 years ago

    See Saw! cum on i can't believe with you tube, porn sites, beheadings, and all social media you would find this offensive. Keep there eyes closed and you will be trying to stop the plane to syria and texting isis. Just saying as a whole there is worse out there.

  • amazed - 3 years ago

    Wish I was able to meet the 156 that felt this was appropriate in a high school classroom.

  • Jeanne Urso - 3 years ago

    While the kids are considered "young adults" in some people's eyes, the content of the poem, in my opinion, is way too graphic for high school students. It was inappropriate for a teacher to present this to a class. I'm no prude, but the verses were quite sexually graphic and that's not what we send our children, no matter what their age, to school for.

  • Galen - 3 years ago

    Those same idiots have no problem
    With letting their kids see 50 shades of grey.

  • Galen - 3 years ago

    Those same idiots have no problem
    With letting their kids see 50 shades of grey.

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