Summer 1965 • Vol. XXVII No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1965 |

Mangham

Somewhere between bells the right angles staggered And Mangham poised, sensing thunder, Something crooked in the straight lines of his brain. Chalk dust rose from his shoulders, lost more Weight, settled upward. The blackboard altered Its screech, and the teeth of the children were set On edge. Above our doped heads the ceiling whitened As the part in Mr. Mangham's hair Lost its way; a gray lock fell; Behind him as he turned, the Law Of Cosines. He pressed the middle of his brow With a handkerchief, looking at all of us As he stepped Quickly out of the room. In the center Of the high school a sound arose from us, A hive-sound, amazing, increasing. I tore up my note To Serena Hill, and leaned and spoke Boldly to her in person. At the threshold Mr. Mangham appeared with a handkerchief Full of lumps; He had raided the lunchroom icebox, and held A knotted cloth full of soupy cubes Dripping down his gray face: held it Left-handed, lifted his good Right arm. The signs appeared again, The

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In 1956, James Dickey resigned his teaching position at The University of Florida when his reading of the poem "The Father's Body" to a local women's group was construed as obscene. He took a position as an advertising copywriter and executive for the McCann-Erickson agency in New York, a position he later described as "selling his soul to the devil in the daytime and buying it back at night." Dickey worked in the advertising business until 1961, when he received a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to move his family to Italy and devote his time to writing poetry.

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Ray-Flowers: II

By James Dickey

Somewhere between bells the right angles staggered And Mangham poised, sensing thunder, Something crooked in the straight lines of his brain. Chalk dust rose from his shoulders, lost more Weight, […]

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