I am currently in the middle of a trip to the Whining States of America. Part for personal reasons and partly for business. It’s a busy itinerary, so posting is probably going to be light. I have noted with interest the sacking of Reince Priebus and his replacement by General Kelly. More to follow on that subject, but it probably is not going to end well. Trump poisons all the things he touches.
Today is the birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a great American poet, however, and it’s worth celebrating some of his work, even though written years ago, still rings true today:
If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovskyand Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words.”— Lawrence Ferlinghetti. From Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames].
And, while I am sure he never intended it-it appears he foresaw the rise of Donald J. Trump:
“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
― Lawrence Ferlinghetti
You don’t hate your country when you passionately want it to improve-and understand that it can improve. Something I continually have to remind people.