Cameos: Hilda Doolittle, “Oxford Town,” and Various

Hilda Doolittle (H. D.) was an Imagist poet. I studied her in graduate school at Columbia University. I moved into her only daughter’s brownstone in New York City, working as an au pair while waiting to take the final exams for my M. A. One day, these many years later, there’s a review of Robert Duncan’s The H. D. Book: The Collected Writings staring at me on the left side of the page, while Keep This Quiet! is reviewed on the right-hand side, in the latest Beat Scene print literary magazine published in the U. K.

In his interview with me on Keep This Quiet!, Beat Scene publisher Kevin Ring asks such intriguing questions that I was unable to give short answers. For instance, he asked about a scene in Oxford, Mississippi. Wondering why he picked that out as a Brit, I realized that “this is the same Oxford as in Dylan’s ‘Oxford Town. I had never put together  that Dylan recorded “Oxford Town” in December 1962, in roughly the same time frame as I went there. In one hitchhiking incident, I met undercover agents who were guarding James Meredith as he broke Civil Rights ground by attending Ole Miss. So Kevin Ring asked, Was I scared? I answered no, because I was in the middle of live action.

Even David Bowie sang his version, of not going to Oxford Town. Click here for that.

Fortunately, Oxford is a very different place today. It was also the hometown of William Faulkner, the fictional Yoknapatawpha his characters lived in.

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