Friday, August 21, 2015

Singing the Marine's Hymn When I Was Nine

Grades 3,4, and 5 occupied
the same room, and the teacher combined
us to have us sing "The Marines Hymn." Later,
Andre Breton's "Surrealist Manifesto"
provided a context for the experience.

The teacher didn't explain why
the Marines had occupied the Halls
of Montezuma (were they working
for Cortez?) or where the shores
of Tripoli were. Lots of Italians

had settled in Gold Rush country,
so I guessed Italy. Hey, teachers
do things to survive the teaching
because every day they have to
establish a new beach-head.

The tune seemed terribly tedious,
and it knew so: the key-change
if often a tell. Hell, yes, we
wanted to be sent on a mission:
recess.


hans ostrom 2015



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