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Sign: Berkeley - Berkeley Poetry Walk - "A Textbook of Poetry, 21" a song by Jack Spicer

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2026 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
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On the sign:
A TEXTBOOK OF POETRY, 21

Hold to the future. With firm hands. The future of each afterlife, of each ghost, of each word that is about to be mentioned.

Don’t say put beauty in here for the past, on account of the past. On account of the past nothing has happened.

Stick to the new. With glue, paste it there continually what God and man has created. Your fingers catch at the edge of what you are pasteing.

You have left the boys’ club where the past matters: The future of your words matters. That future is continually in the past.

That pathology leads to new paths and pathfinding. All the way down past the future. The words go swimming past you as if they were blue fish.

-Jack Spicer
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Comments:
Berklee’s poetry Walk was laid in October 2003 along Edison Street between Shattuck and Milvia Streets. The route includes 128 metal plates with excerpts from songs, each of which is related in one way or another to the city of Berkeley.

The plaque features a poem by the American poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965) who studied and worked at Berkeley University and belonged to the San Francisco Renaissance.




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