Art by Rob Goldstein

Heroes of the Revolution: Harold Norse

In 1977 I lived in New Haven, Connecticut.

There are hundreds of reasons I loved my time in New Haven.

One was Manhattan was an hour away by train.

I took Amtrak to New York at least twice a month to hang out in the Village.

One weekend in the Fall of 1977 I stopped for a drink at Uncle Charlie’s on Greenwich Avenue.

I met a hot guy who invited me home.

He had a studio apartment with a bed, a chair and a nightstand.

On the nightstand was a book of poems by Harold Norse,  Carnivorous Saint.

A devouring saint?

I sat on the bed and opened the book.

I’d never seen poetry like this before.

I said good-bye to the hot guy, raced to the bookstore, got Carnivorous Saint, and hopped the train back to New Haven.

I was smitten.

The poetry in Carnivorous Saint was political, sexy and full of humor.

Norse used his poetry to define gay liberation in language that included working class men.

Norse is a working class man who declares that he is not a Man:

Art by Rob Goldstein
Scanned from my copy of Carnivorous Saint, purchased in 1977.
Carnivorous Saint
Scanned cover of my copy of Carnivorous Saint, purchased in 1977.

There is more to my story about Harold Norse but that is for another post.

To learn more about the poet, Harold Norse, click here:



26 thoughts on “Heroes of the Revolution: Harold Norse

  1. Wow! Powerful words. I haven’t heard of him before but he writes amazingly…thank you, great post.

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      1. I can see that very well. Challenging gender expectations still resonates today despite progress that has been made over the years. I just ordered a copy of this book. 🙂

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      2. I’m happy to hear that you ordered the book. Kenneth Pitchford is another unsung hero. While some of the ideas of the radical effeminists were untenable what they attempted to do was courageous. John Lennon’s decision to let Yoko take care of the business while he raised Sean was influenced by the radical effeminist movement.

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      3. Lennon wrote a couple of songs that were directly influenced by effeminist movement and his most powerful post-Beatles music is a result of the effeminist idea that men need to let themselves feel and understand their emotions and the sexism that they internalize as a result of social conditioning.

        Intellectually, Lennon evolved from “I’d rather see you dead, little girl than to see you with another man” to “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m sorry that I made you cry.”

        Lennon is an excellent example of a working class man who learned how to use his mind by learning how to question himself.

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      4. It’s a fascinating story if you examine it from a class perspective. Lennon’s evolution as an intellectual begins when he meets Yoko who is skilled at belonging to the upper class.

        It’s a shame that Sean can’t emerge from his Father’s shadow because he has the combined gifts of both of his parents.

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