Friday, February 26, 2016

Charles Rammelkamp- A Poem

Long Live the Romantic Poets

On the Oxford tour bus,
the recorded guide told us
Bill Clinton and Percy Shelley
both attended University College,
Shelley having been kicked out
for writing a tract in praise of atheism,
a statue later erected there in his honor,
after he’d drowned in the Mediterranean.

Cecil Rhodes was under fire now
for racist associations,
the man for whom the scholarship
Clinton received was named.

As we rounded past Corpus Christi College,
All Souls College, the voice also told us
the site of the old Jewish cemetery, coming up,
now featured the spectacular Botanic Garden,
Jews having been banned from England in 1289.

So much history! I thought,
from William the Conqueror on down,
and so much scandal,
still marveling over Bill Clinton and Percy Shelley,
mentioned in the same sentence.

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