Green Hills Literary Lantern



Showing Students the 50s Film Strip Radical Reformers

of the 19th Century for the Last Time before Retirement

Brittle & yellowed as grandma’s horn-toed, uncut toenails,

the film strip unwinds as the phonograph, bulky as a WWII

Underwood typewriter, spins nearby with its needle floating

over warped, black waves of a vinyl disk on a turntable at

speeds between 33 & 78 revolutions per minute depending

on the whim in my pinky finger as well as an uncommonly

pernicious yen to hear a baritone proclaiming Emerson’s

glories in a high-pitched, pudding-mouthed, imitation

of Bugs Bunny’s cartoon voiced What’s up, Doc?, decidedly

anti-romantic, yes, & mismatched to a radical antebellum

message, yet somewhat fitting for these high school students

who wouldn’t be caught dead without cell phones or body

piercings in places even RWE couldn’t have imagined

fathomable. Will this new generation ever again under-

stand how it was back then when “needle” & “turning”

entered into our poetry & lives or why individual frames

refuse to catch up with the sound that runs ahead on this

mid-century technological miracle that set their grandparents

wild since it meant a respite from the stodgy teacher’s droning

on & on spilling out useless facts in his worthless world?

Terry Savoie’s work has appeared in well over a hundred literary journals, anthologies and other venues in addition to GHLL, including American Poetry Review, America, Black Warrior Review, Ploughshares, Northwest Review, Minnesota Review, Runes, Free Lunch, Poetry East, The Iowa Review, Blueline, North American Review , Fugue and Visiting Walt: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Walt Whitman, an anthology published by the University of Iowa Press.