CT's South Windsor High School Suspends Teacher For Assigning This Sexually Explicit Allen Ginsberg Poem

THIS IMAGE IS PART OF OF A PHOTO PACKAGE ON CHILDREN GOING TO SCHOOL AROUND THE WORLD This picture taken on June 14, 2013 shows 9-year-old South Korean student Lim Jee-Woo reading a book at her home in Goyang, north of Seoul. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

When South Windsor High School suspended a teacher for reading an Allen Ginsberg poem to his students, claiming it was "highly inappropriate" for its sexually explicit content, the staff probably wasn't expecting to make national news, but that's exactly what happened. According to NBC Connecticut, English teacher David Olio asked students to read Ginsberg's "Please Master" in class, after which students and parents took to social media to express their discomfort with the assignment. By Monday morning, Olio, who has taught literature at South Windsor since 1996, received a suspension from the school while the South Windsor Board of Education "investigate[s] the concerns that have been brought to our attention," assistant superintendent Colin J. McNamara wrote in Olio's suspension letter.

According to Cosmopolitan, officials wrote an email to parents stating that they "do not tolerate the use of inappropriate materials in classroom settings." Olio, who graduated from Trinity College, is not facing any criminal charges; instead, he is on paid administrative leave, meaning that he is prohibited from setting foot on school grounds or contacting students while he's under investigation. However, this hasn't stopped people from taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure with Olio's suspension, claiming that it promotes censorship.


Although, as always, there's at least one homophobe who has to make an appearance.


If you're unfamiliar with Ginsberg's body of work, chances are you're wondering what makes one teacher's suspension so divisive. The answer lies in the subject matter of "Please Master," which depicts sex between two men. Ginsberg, an acclaimed Beat poet who was the recipient of many awards in his life time, including the Robert Frost Medal, Lifetime Literary Achievement Award, and National Book Award for Poetry, is known for his Walt Whitman-esque poetry and sexually explicit content. In fact, his seminal work Howl and Other Poems was so shocking for the time that the San Francisco Police Department arrested the publisher upon its publication in the 1950s, according to the Poetry Foundation. 

In light of all this, it probably won't come as a surprise that "Please Master" is a very explicit description of sex between men. Here it is in full, via the World's Poetry Archive

Please master can I touch your cheek
please master can I kneel at your feet
please master can I loosen your blue pants
please master can I gaze at your golden haired belly
please master can I gently take down your shorts
please master can I have your thighs bare to my eyes
please master can I take off your clothes below your chair
please master can I kiss your ankles and soul
please master can I touch lips to your muscle hairless thigh
please master can I lay my ear pressed to your stomach
please master can I wrap my arms around your white ****
please master can I lick your groin curled with soft blond fur
please master can I touch my tongue to your rosy ****
please master may I pass my face to your balls,
please master, please look into my eyes,
please master order me down on the floor,
please master tell me to lick your thick shaft
please master put your rough hands on my bald hairy skull
please master press my mouth to your prick-heart
please master press my face into your belly, pull me slowly strong thumbed
till your dumb hardness fills my throat to the base
till I swallow and taste your delicate flesh-hot prick barrel veined Please
Master push my shoulders away and stare into my eye, & make me bend over the table
please master grab my thighs and lift my **** to your waist
please master your rough hand's stroke on my neck your palm down my backside
please master push me up, my feet on chairs, till my hole feels the breath of your spit and your thumb stroke
please master make me say Please Master **** me now Please
Master grease my balls and hairmouth with sweet vaselines
please master stroke your shaft with white creams
please master touch your cock head to my wrinkled self-hole
please master push it in gently, your elbows enwrapped around my breast
your arms passing down to my belly, my penis you touch w/ your little fingers
please master shove it in me a little, a little, a little,
please master sink your droor thing down my behind
& please master make me wiggle my rear to eat up the prick trunk
till my asshalfs cuddle your thighs, my back bent over
till I'm alone sticking out your sword stuck throbbing in me
please master pull out and slowly roll into the bottom
please master lunge it again, and withdraw to the tip
please please master **** me again with your self, please **** me Please 
Master drive it down till it hurts me the softness the
Softness please master make love to my ****, give body to center & **** me for good like a girl,
tenderly clasp me please master I take me to thee,
& drive in my belly your selfsame sweet heat-rood
your fingered in solitude Denver or Brooklyn or ****ed in a maiden in Paris carlots
please master drive me thy vehicle, body of love drops, sweat ****
body of tenderness, Give me your dog **** faster
please master make me go moan on the table
Go moan O please master do **** me like that
in your rhythm thrill-plunge and pull-back bounce & push down
till I loosen my **** a dog on the table yelping with terror delight to be loved
Please master call me a dog, an **** beast, a wet ****
& **** me more violent, my eyes hid with your palms round my skull
& plunge down in a brutal hard lash thru soft drip-fish
& throb thru five seconds to spurt out your semen heat
over & over, bamming it in while I cry out your name I do love you
please Master.
It's explicit, but not necessarily moreso than The Color Purple or, well, most of e.e. cumming's work, both of which are still taught in most high schools last time I checked. It's also much less disturbing than the ultra-violent opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, which was shown to 10th grade history students every year in my high school, or Lord of the Flies, which traumatized my 11-year-old self for life.

However, it's up to the South Windsor Board of Education to decide what is and isn't appropriate for students, and currently the investigation is ongoing. According to NBC Connecticut, Olio is unavailable for comment, but we'll see whether the outrage on Twitter has any effect on the verdict.

Image: whatiwishicould/Tumblr

Must Reads