Ovid is still important. Ibis is always fresh. Ancient Rome was not prudish; much of the literature is carnal. If students at Columbia worry about Ovid's Metamorphoses' sexual overtones, and manage to change the curriculum to something more Politically Correct than an old Roman pervert, I think the entire student body should ex-post-facto apologize to the world for employing Allen Ginsberg. Allen Ginsberg isn't disgusting because he's homosexual. Sappho already did that in style. Allen Ginsberg is disgusting because he treats sexuality like a bad manual typewriter missing the lower-case "t." To be honest, Catfish shocks the world. Sodomy just doesn't cut it as disgusting content for a modern poem with nothing else going on but the sexiness of an old metal thermos full of almost-rotten tapioca pudding. Make up your damn minds, so-called liberal OG shot-callers at Columbia: are we going to ruin the future of literature or not?
I'm a bible boy. I love Jesus. I'm also thirty six. What's gross when you're twelve and Michelangelo's "David" is the only male beauty around, doesn't make an internet-bound adolescent's list of sexuality to explore tremble, shake, or drop acorns on the ground. I'd love to study Ovid as literature in a class. Unfortunately, professors seem to think that typical, boring, vapid wannabe Ken Doll named "Insert random sexual poet with no imagination" is a modern substitute. Ken Doll in His Own Dreams is not a substitute; he's a surrogate for poetry delivered into the hole on the other side of the mattress who can't quite figure out no one cares anymore.
Toni Morrison is an average novelist at best. I think she's horrible. Euripides manages to give his characters names. Homer gives her characters names. The allegorical names of John Bunyan work in Reformation and Counter-Reformation times, but Morrison's Song of Solomon falls flat with them. Who is Guitar Bains and why is his name Guitar? Pilate is a proper Latin name for someone who already matters. Morrison's Pilate claims a powerful name for reasons never made clear. Why would anyone give a phylactery to someone named Pilate--an Eques Roman surname--but is clearly a complete autodidact? Pilate's name is a loaded name that's been done to death. Yeah, I went there. Why not? Columbia seems intent on destroying literature anyway. Let's give some nineteen year old freshmen reason to think Hannibal is a serial killer played by Anthony Hopkins instead of a Carthaginian boogeyman who sacrificed infants to kill more Roman Legionnaires on the battlefield than anyone else could ever dream.
Scipio never gets an epic. I'm sorry Petrarch, but he just doesn't. "Howl" is not an epic; 112 lines won't do. Sappho and Ovid rocked it. Toni Morrison did not. I'm going to buy lunch for too much money and lament the downfall of America, which isn't Rome anymore, and probably has to climb uphill to be Brazil.