This concludes 77 Dream Songs, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Before knowing about that, Henry could hold in his hands the couple books he got out, and that’s something, but he is tired of all those seasons of life except the one where all that procreation, growth and moist liveliness is giving way to a falling off, and he’s tired too of “a squeamish comfy ruin-prone proud national / mind”—Not so happy with that American exceptionalism there, is he? The outrages of our social/political moment that so piss off and make despairing me and my ilk and kin have their origins in the outrages of his, though we did have to wait some years for the counterculture to play out, and there was all that business of the civil rights movement, and the environmental movement, and feminism, and all those great speeches and great music, and the American Indians had their movement. And there were some laws passed, and some changes made, so that black Americans could vote and rivers no longer caught fire and women could go to college and be taken seriously, but eventually the rich bad guys got organized, got their propaganda machines reassembled and oiled up, and they’ve wrested back the upper hand again and they’re busy, busy tearing down whatever they can reach. Although stuff is arising that they’re not equipped to deal with or even see. Keeps me from going all Henry, it does. But, he’s stript down and ready to go now, move on, leave it behind. It’s all clear enough. I’m ready to move on too. Thanks, B., I loved the challenge, and I learned plenty, and I’ll keep with it, meditating my way through the next collection.
I never had any doubt about it, but it’s good to write. It helps.