a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Missing out on the National Book Critics Circle Award


An aggrieved response to The Fuehrer Bunker
WD Snodgrass Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

A funny thing happened at… at one of the readings at… at Wynn's… at… at the American Place Theatre. And… and I see this as sort of typical of… of the things that happen. There was a discussion period afterwards, which I stayed for. And in the back of the auditorium, a… a rather small, dark man got up and began to… to attack the thing violently because he said there were choruses in which the German… the sort of German public is speaking, and they're being bombed. They're being bombed out, and they're bemoaning this fact. Also, he did… he didn’t men… they're saying, the things we did to others are now being done to us. I mean… but, they're… and he says… he says, 'I don't feel sorry for those people. I was in the… I was in the camps.' Now, as I figure it, he cannot possibly… unless he was a baby, he could not have been in one of the camps. Maybe he's visited them. I visited them. But anyway… and… and he was ranting against this. Again Wynn… Wynn stopped me. I was going to answer this. I was going to say, but, you know, they… they have said, we are guilty, and… and we're paying for it. And… but you don't expect people… you don't expect people who are getting bombed to… to rejoice, do you? I mean, what… what are they going to do except bemoan their fate? What happens when… in The Persians by Aeschylus, the Persians come on and say 'Whoa, we're getting killed. We don't like it.' When… and then when we left the theatre, we came out, and… and he had a group of people around him. And… and he was going on with this same rant against these choruses, or against the play in general. Wynn pulled me aside and said: 'Come here. He read for the part of Goebbels and didn't get it'. Inside the theatre, when the… when the… the… the talk sort of ended about his complaint against the play, Wynn turned to another man who was sitting down front, who was a big, heavyset guy… I mean, both these guys were… were Jewish. He turned to the other guy and said, 'What did you think of the play?' He said: ‘I think it's a masterpiece’. That's the way it's gone for me.

American poet WD Snodgrass, entered the world of poetry with a bang winning several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his first collection of poetry, Heart's Needle. A backlash followed his controversial fifth anthology “The Fuehrer Bunker”, but in recent years these poems have been reassessed and their importance recognised.

Listeners: William B. Patrick

William B. Patrick is a writer and poet who lives in Troy, New York. Among his work are the poetry volumes "We Didn't Come Here for This" and "These Upraised Hands", the novel "Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family" and the plays "Rescue" and "Rachel's Dinner". His most recent work is the non-fiction book "Saving Troy", based on the year he spent following the Troy Fire Department.

Mr. Patrick has been Writer-in-Residence at the New York State Writers Institute and has taught at Old Dominion University, Onondaga Community College, and Salem State College, and workshops in Screenwriting and Playwriting at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. He has received grants from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Tags: The American Place Theatre, The Persians, The Fuehrer Bunker, Wyn Handman, Aeschylus, Joseph Goebbels

Duration: 3 minutes, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008